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AED 30 KWD 2.5 QAR 30

S I G N É

HOROLOGICAL CANDIES

R ICHAR D MILLE ASKS ‘’FRUITS A ND SWEETS, A N YONE?’’

OF CONSISTENCY AND UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY

AESOP’S THOMAS BUISSON GIVES A BEHINDTHE-SCENES LOOK AT THE BR AND AND ITS CORE VALUES

STAYING TRUE TO ITS ROOTS

HEDONISM IS WHAT IT TAKES TO OWN SOME OF THE FINEST LEATHER GOODS MADE BY THE MILANESE ATELIER, SERAPIAN

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE SUPERIOR LUXURY

Maserati creates a buzz in the luxury SUV market by adding two new V8 models to its Levante range – Levante GTS and Levante Trofeo


CALIBER RM 030


Riyadh : Boutique Ali Bin Ali : Al Tahlia, C-Center - T : +966 11 465 9339 Jeddah : Boutique Mikimoto - Al Tahlia, Jameel Square - T : +966 12 660 0142


Publishers’ letter AED 30 KWD 2.5 QAR 30

Edition 33

SIHH 2019 Our highlights kick off with an individual who believes the role of a designer in today’s environment is that of a disruptor. With a slew of high-profile design collaborations unveiled in the last year alone, Hiroshi Fujiwara (p.14) is THE designer of the moment. His recent collections with Tag Heuer and Moncler are testament to his disruptive vision. Our cover story (p.62) for this edition showcases the all new Maserati Levante GTS and the top-of-the-line Maserati Trofeo. Presented against the idyllic backdrop of Tokyo and Mount Fuji, we present why the Levant is truly the Maserati of SUVs. We had the opportunity to interview Thomas Buisson, the General Manager Europe and Middle East for AESOP, on the occasion of the new storefront opening in Dubai Mall (p.48). With an emphasis on qualitative products and a consultative approach to customer engagement, the Dubai Mall store opening means consumers in the region finally have access to a brand with a cult-like following the world over. On the Horological front, we bring a shortlist (p.72) of fine watches from the recent SIHH 2019. Our feature stories include Richard Mille (p.78), Audemars Piguet (p.88) and Mont Blanc (p.92). We also had the opportunity to speak with Stephen Forsey (p.82) and understand the founders’ vision behind the unconventional watch manufacture.

www.signemagazine.com EDITORIAL Publisher Daniel Giacometti Editor-in-Chief Sunaz Sharaf editor@signemagazine.com Features Editor Shama Moosa shama@signemagazine.com Art Director Nujoomi Denjypady Junior Editor Almas Salman Copy Editor Sameer Denzi Online & Social Nidal Ziyad PUBLISHED BY

A L TA V E R B A

As always, enjoy the read!

Daniel & Sunaz

ALTA VERBA FZ LLC Alta Verba FZ LLC, Suite 17, Iridium Building, Umm Suqueim Road, Al Barsha, P.O.Box 391186, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Telephone: +9714 395 9982 info@altaverbamedia.com www.altaverbamedia.com ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE FIERCE INTERNATIONAL Business Central Tower A, Dubai Media City P.O.Box 502979, Dubai U.A.E Tel: +9714 421 5455 Tarek@fierce-international.com Published under licensing from

All rights reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright notice may be reproduced or utilised in any form or by any means, without written permission from the Publisher. SIGNÉ does not take any responsibilities for incorrect information. The advertising appearing within this publication reflects the opinion and attitudes of their respective brands and not necessarily those of the Publisher or SIGNÉ.

ISSN 2410-4523


L.U.C LUNAR ONE The 43 mm-diameter L.U.C Lunar One is a perpetual calendar model with a big date and an orbital moonphase. This 355-part automatic L.U.C 96.13-L movement is powered by a micro-rotor. Proudly developed, produced and assembled in our Manufacture, it showcases the full range of watchmaking skills cultivated within the Maison Chopard.


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BESPOKE MATTERS

Yusuche Ono tells us about the pleasures and challenges of being a Japanese bespoke tailor

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A ROYAL SPIN

FRAGRANCE FILE Editor’s selection of fragrances for the season

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THE POWER OF DISRUPTION

LATEST

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Signé spoke to Thomas Buisson, Aesop’s EMEA General Manager, to get a behind-the-scenes look at the brand

OF CONSISTENCY AND UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY

Our top product pick comes from Christian Louboutin

Signé takes a closer look at the streetwear legend, Hiroshi Fujiwara

SNEAKER PICKS

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Stay on trend with the best sneakers to own this season

THE MASTER SHOEMAKER’S CUT

A closer look at Berluti’s ‘0 Cut’ Shoes

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911 GENERATION EIGHT

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STYLE SPOTLIGHT

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The new eighth generation of the design classic Porsche 911 remains as timeless as ever

Medy Navani, CEO of Design Haus Medy, shares some of his best-kept fashion secrets with us

UNDERSTATED ELEGANCE

How Serapian, a Milanese leather goods manufacturer balances retaining its core principles and staying fashion forward

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A brief look into what makes Silk the special fibre that it is

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STAYING TRUE TO ITS ROOTS

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THE ITALIAN BEAUTY WITH SUPERPOWERS

THE STYLE EDIT

Fashion-forward buys, picked by Signé for you

With Tateossian of London, we discover how subtle accessorising can bring individuality to your wardrobe

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A compilation of the best Derby shoes from MR PORTER that every man should own

We tell you all about Burberry’s limited-edition B-Series product drop for January 2019

A review of Bottega Veneta’s Pre-Fall 2019 Collection

MAKE A BIG IMPRESSION

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LUCKY SEVENTEEN

DERBIES

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Pininfarina is set to launch their debut hypercar, the Battista, in March 2019

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE SUPERIOR LUXURY

Maserati Levante SUV’s model Year 2019 speaks power and luxury like never before

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INTERSTELLAR

BMW pushes the boundaries of car designing with its one-and-only BMW Individual M850i xDrive Coupe Night Sky

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Signé brings you key trends to adorn your wrist this season

‘Chandelier of Grief ’ by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama transports one to a world of illusion

SPECIALS FROM SIHH 2019

THE ENCHANTED ROOM

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Unwrapped at SIHH 2019, Richard Mille’s new Bonbon Collection is a visual treat

A talk with the young and dynamic Ujjwal Goel, the Managing Director of Teraciel Group, about what makes him tick

HOROLOGICAL CANDIES

SECRETS TO A 100YEAR-OLD ENTERPRISE

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OBJECTS OF DESIRE We bring you a selection of our favourite must-have possessions

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LIFE IMITATING [CULINARY] ART

The world’s second HELL’S KITCHEN Restaurant by Gordon Ramsay comes to Dubai

THE NEXT ERA OF WATCHMAKING

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Chanel’s boutique at 19 rue Cambon is a link between the maison’s past, present and future

The newly opened Matagi brings you the finest of Asian flavours

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Audemars Piguet renews its DNA with a lineup of a new family of watches, CODE 11.59

‘Living Coral’, Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2019, is a colour of Happiness

An exclusive, insightful conversation with Stephen Forsey, Co-Founder of Greubel Forsey

THE CODE IS HERE TO STAY

RUE DE COCO

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THE COLOR OF HAPPINESS

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Get an excerpt on how Montblanc is ever evolving with its diverse audience

Skillbike, a benchmark setting fitnessbike by Technogym

A GASTRONOMIC JOURNEY PAR EXTRAORDINAIRE

Trèsind, at the Nassima Royal Hotel, offers a multi-sensory culinary gastronomic ride

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A REAL-WORLD REVOLUTION

THE EVOLUTION OF A HERITAGE

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PAN ASIAN AT ITS BEST

JEWEL IN THE CROWN

Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, a belle époque treasure in the heart of Monaco

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Hiroshi Fujiwara with the ‘Carrera Heuer 02 by Fragment Hiroshi Fujiwara’ watch

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THE POWER OF DISRUPTION Signé takes a closer look at the streetwear legend, Hiroshi Fujiwara; his life and his disruptive contribution to premium brands

“People think that streetwear is sneaker culture, but I think it’s more than that — it’s about the attitude you have,” Hiroshi Fujiwara, widely regarded as the ‘godfather of streetwear,’ told Business of Fashion last year on the sidelines of Pitti Uomo in Milan. He was there to launch a major collaboration with premium streetwear brand Moncler. For those not familiar with Hiroshi Fujiwara; he is Japanese, a designer and prominent influencer of streetwear, a musician credited with introducing and popularising hip-hop in Japan, the founder of fashion label Fragment Design and home goods brand retaW. He has collaborated with Nike, Burton, Levi’s, Stussy, Supreme, Converse, Beats by Dre, K457 and Eric Clapton among others. Luxury or premium streetwear has become a hot topic in the Industry today given its tremendous disruptive capabilities. Moreover, with the appointment of the likes of Virgil Abloh as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear, for example, streetwear is no longer being disruptive from the fringes. To understand this phenomenon, we have to go back to the beginning and examine the part that Hiroshi played in the evolution of streetwear from urban youth culture to the catwalks of Paris and New York. Hiroshi was born in Ise, Mie, along the Eastern coast of Japan, south of Tokyo. At the age of 18, he moved to the capital city and made a name for himself in Harajuku’s street fashion scene. Harajuku is a Tokyo neighbourhood renowned for its street art and fashion scene fuelled by the Japanese youths’ obsession with dressing up and bonding over each other’s creativity. This tendency became a social phenomenon in the 1980s and Harajuku became its gravitational centre. It was also in the 1980s that Hiroshi travelled to London and New York, soaking up the subcultures of punk, hip-hop and skateboarding, and transporting them back to Tokyo. Some of the

hip-hop records Hiroshi had bought while in New York, he began to play them in his DJ sessions. He is, therefore, credited not only with introducing the genre to Japan but also with popularising it. This led Hiroshi to producing music and specialising in remixes. He also introduced the fashion associated with hip hop to Harajuku; “which he inflected with high fashion sensibilities, transforming simple items like t-shirts into luxury goods imbued with deeper meaning,” according to BoF. “Back in 1989, Fujiwara birthed streetwear label Good Enough, pioneering the concept of drip-feeding product in limited quantities well before the “drop” system was popularised by the likes of Nike and Supreme. As his name grew, he took on a growing array of activities: starting a hip-hop group, opening a concept store, writing a magazine column and serving as a mentor to fellow Harajuku designers Nigo and Jun Takahashi. But that was then. The world has changed since the days when Fujiwara’s love of Run D.M.C. records and streetwear brands like Anarchic Adjustment and Stüssy first put him on the map... And yet Fujiwara has managed to stay as relevant as ever.” Today Hiroshi primarily works through his consultancy firm Fragment, known for the subtle design disruptions (and double lightning bolt logo) it applies to the products of others, from Nike to Louis Vuitton; Supreme to Off-White; Levi’s to Moncler. Hiroshi’s most high-profile collaboration is the HTM project with Nike, whose CEO Mark Parker, described the project’s mission to BoF in a 2013 article thus: “to amplify new innovations, reinterpret existing designs, and explore concepts that take the brand to new places.” He also said HTM was “the company’s enema,” and that “it has the potential to change everything.” HTM is the first initials of the first names of the three participants: Hiroshi, Tinker Hatfield, Nike’s VP of creative concepts, and Mark Parker. “Hiroshi comes out of a more style standpoint whereas Tinker and I are more on the performance

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FA S H I O N • T H E P O W E R O F D I S R U P T I O N

side of design and are less concerned with aesthetics, you can learn a lot from the blending of those different perspectives,” according to Parker. The HTM collaboration debuted in 2002 its take on the iconic Air Force 1. Its silhouette featured soft premium leather in dress shoe tones of black or brown, subtle details such as “HTM” in the footbed and contrast stitching. In 2004, came the Nike Sock Dart, HTM’s take on Nike’s Sock Racer. Eight years later, came the Nike HTM Flyknit Racer and Nike HTM Flyknit Trainer+, both based on the lightweight and waste-reducing Flyknit technology. In 2014, the KOBE 9 Elite Low HTM transcended the boundaries between the basketball court and culture by becoming the first low-cut Nike Flyknit hoops shoe in history. The collaboration is open-ended, and therefore another innovation may come along in due course. Two of the latest collaborations by Hiroshi speak volumes not only of his broad appeal but also of his adaptability. One is with Moncler, the Milan based apparel manufacturer and lifestyle brand founded in 1952. The other is with TAG Heuer, the Swiss manufacturer of luxury watches and fashion accessories. Moncler manufactures and directly distributes its clothing and accessories collections under the Moncler brand through its boutiques, exclusive department stores and multi-brand outlets throughout the world. Known for its down-jackets and winter sportswear, Moncler was a private company until 2003, when

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the current Chairman and CEO, Remo Ruffini took control of the company and made it a publicly traded company. To keep the brand relevant in the fast-paced, social-media age, Ruffini launched the Moncler Genius initiative designed to appeal to millennials while also retaining the more established luxury consumers. Genius was conceived as “a hub of exceptional minds operating in unison while simultaneously cultivating their singularity.” The “exceptional minds” are eight guest designers one of whom is Hiroshi. “We have chosen designers that differ greatly from each other as we have always spoken to different generations”, says Ruffini. “We constantly need to offer new experiences and new ideas. Moncler Genius is divided into several collections over the year. We have overhauled everything, by overcoming the very concept of seasons. Our approach is monthly, weekly, daily. An approach which considerably reduces the time that elapses between the collections’ presentation and when they actually arrive in the stores.” The first collection under the Genius program was unveiled at last year’s Milan Fashion Week. Next, they arrived in Moncler stores, online and in select outlets in June. Then, between October and December, the brand unveiled Genius pop-ups at select retailers in New York and Tokyo. Hiroshi’s latest collection for Moncler Genius hit the stores in December. He revisited the classic Moncler puffer in colours

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“Brands like Nike and Moncler need to do their own things slowly, then [someone like] me, a creative director, can play around and do something else, which is interesting.” Hiroshi Fujiwara

7 Moncler Fragment Hiroshi Fujiwara Collection

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FA S H I O N • T H E P O W E R O F D I S R U P T I O N

7 Moncler Fragment Hiroshi Fujiwara Collection

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ranging from baby blue to electric blue, and Tricolor textures reminiscent of Tetris with detachable stickers bearing the words ‘Moncler Fragment.’ The padded flannel tartan shirts, as well as the down-jackets in their 3D version, bear the words: ‘Moncler To the South, To the West, To the East, To the North.’ Oversize woollen sweaters feature watery, distilled hues. Accessories include a series of backpacks for different purposes and hiking boots for urban trekkers. The collaboration with TAG Heuer yielded the ‘Carrera Heuer 02 by Fragment Hiroshi Fujiwara,’ a reinterpretation of the brand’s iconic Carrera. It is a limited edition of 500 pieces, available only in TAG Heuer boutiques and online at tagheuer. com Hiroshi began the project with “a deep dive into the product archives of the manufacture” and “learned about the history of the TAG Heuer Carrera,” according to the brand. Hiroshi then chose the original Carrera model from 1963 to transform into a Fragment-inspired timepiece. It features beige indexes and beige rhodium-plated hour and minute hands with SuperLuminova over a sleek black dial. It also features a silver flange logo at 12 o’clock. Three black sub-dials with lacquered white hands also adorn the dial: a minute counter at 3 o’clock, a permanent second subdial at 6 o’clock and an hour

counter at 9 o’clock. The black strap features a new design. The 39 mm stainless-steel case has a special stainless-steel screwdown sapphire caseback, specially engraved with its limitededition number. Hiroshi Fujiwara, the man who tapped into the potential of Hip Hop and Punk Rock when they were still underground currents, was the one who changed the face of Japanese street culture. More significantly, he has managed to stay ahead of the game while many of his contemporaries have either stagnated or withered. He has done this by keeping his pulse firmly on the street and simultaneously keeping tabs on the ever-changing role of the designer for a premium brand. “A designer is not a designer anymore,” Hiroshi told BoF. “The power of design is being replaced by the power to ‘disturb’ what is expected or familiar in order to create new relevance with consumers.” Elaborating on this point he added, “Brands like Nike and Moncler need to do their own things slowly, then [someone like] me, a creative director, can play around and do something else, which is interesting.” Variety is the other key to staying relevant according to Hiroshi, which is why “I do many luxury things but also still underground things. I think to surprise people you need a good balance with high and low. I’m making a chocolate now.”

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FA S H I O N • T H E M A S T E R S H O E M A K E R ’ S C U T

THE MASTER SHOEMAKER’S CUT A closer look at Berluti’s ‘0 Cut’ lace-up court

This season, the quintessence of Berluti’s bootmaker know-how and expertise is embodied in the 0 Cut (pronounced zero cut) and is available in the timelessly chic Démesures shape, in deep black Venezia leather or emerald alligator or, as always, tailor-made to one’s special order. The 0 Cut, first unveiled during the Fall Winter 2018 prêt-àPorter show, is the purest expression of the iconic Alessandro

lace-up court shoe. Each shoe is handcrafted from a single leather piece and with no stitching on the upper for optimal comfort. The Alessandro was created by Alessandro Berluti in 1895 and has since remained essentially unchanged, swiftly becoming Berluti’s emblematic shoe. Following the Alessandro tradition, the 0 Cut is also crafted from a single piece of leather and is entirely devoid of stitching

Making of the Berluti ‘0 Cut’ Shoes 20

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Berluti’s ‘0 Cut’ Shoes

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on the back. Its construction techniques are akin to bespoke bootmaking and it features specific finishings including a lightweight shoe tress, blake stitching and wooden nails on the outsole; only fifteen pairs of which are produced each month. Berluti dates back to Paris in 1895 and has been built by four generations of shoemakers. The LVMH group acquired it in 1993. Berluti then acquired Paris tailor house Arny’s in 2012. Fine leather goods were introduced by Berluti in 2005 to complement the shoes. In 2011, a complete clothing collection of prêtà-porter menswear was launched. The bespoke service, for which Berluti is renowned, has always been available at its rue de Sèvres store in Paris. Berluti has more than 40 stores in all the major cities since 2013. The 0 Cut is now available in stores across the region. In Dubai, Berluti shoes are available at their boutiques in the Dubai Mall, Level Shoe District and Mall of the Emirates, Fashion Dome. In Abu Dhabi, it is available at the Galleria Mall.

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UNDERSTATED ELEGANCE A look at Bottega Veneta’s Pre-Fall 2019 collection

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Creative Director Daniel Lee debuted his first offering with Bottega Veneta’s Pre-Fall 2019 collection. It was not presented on the runway but rather an exercise in intimacy, in true essentialism. Lee draws from the patrimony of Bottega Veneta but lays his own foundations and establishes his signature shapes and silhouettes. The clothes are “generous, warm and kind,” while “tenderly hugging the body, protecting. There is no rigidity, the softness of Bottega Veneta’s cabat bags is applied to an entire collection.

A sensuality is expressed throughout, coats tailored to a slender line,” according to the brand. For the collection as a whole, the notion of skin is a constant, either revealed through transparency or windows opened onto the body itself, or in a reiterated use of leather, Bottega Veneta’s signature material. Meanwhile, the menswear toys with the concept of sprezzatura, an unstudied, natural ease. There is a play with looser, louche proportions. There is mixing of the relaxed with the formal to evoke the reality of dressing today.

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FA S H I O N • U N D E R S TAT E D E L E G A N C E

The clothes are “generous, warm and kind,” while “tenderly hugging the body, protecting. There is no rigidity, the softness of Bottega Veneta’s cabat bags is applied to an entire collection. A sensuality is expressed throughout, coats tailored to a slender line.” 24

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The knot, an emblematic element for Bottega Veneta, is subtly reflected in the knit and chain jewellery, while the intrecciato is blown to macro-size on both accessories and garments. Materials used include cashmere, silk, wool, cotton, shearling and a wide range of leather. Colours are natural: cordovan, espresso, amber, oxblood, chalk and Milanese black. The exceptional leather working skills of Bottega Veneta’s artisans are on display with the new accessories. They

feature the distinctive intrecciato leather weave design developed by the brand while also applying other methods of knotting, weaving, braiding to the range of handbags as well as footwear. The latter are streamlined variations of classic men’s footwear. The hardware on bags, belts and even jewellery draw on Milanese Reductionism featuring hammered balls and chains in gold and silver. The structure in the accessories collection is minimal and architectural, using the natural qualities of material to achieve their effects.

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THE STYLE EDIT

EDITOR’S PICKS

Sunglasses, Bally x Marcolin Group SS19

Leather Travel Bag, Corneliani SS19

Blazer, Dunhill SS19

Trouser, Dunhill SS19

Nino Alligator Document Holder, Berluti

Louis Belt, Christian Louboutin SS19

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Sunglasses, Roberto Cavalli SS19

Pelletessuta Tote Bag, Ermenegildo Zegna SS19

Embroidered Cotton-Jersey Sweatshirt, Alexander McQueen

Plaid Wool Overcoat, Prada

Sweat Pants, Les Benjamins

Sandals, Loewe SS19

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FA S H I O N • D E R B I E S

GUCCI

Gucci's Arley derby shoes are made from smooth leather, set on chunky rubber lug soles. The exaggerated pull tabs and bump toes further the hardy utilitarian feel. USD 870

DERBIES The most distinguishing characteristic of a derby shoe is the open lacing system in contrast to the closed lacing system of the more formal Oxford. In a derby, the quarters are sewn on top of the vamp, and the shoelace eyelets are punched on to the quarters. They generally have a more full-bodied and versatile feel to them compared to an Oxford. Black, browns, cognac, oxblood and other shades of reds are the colours that derbies are

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often presented in. Their versatility comes from the fact that they can be paired with a suit, jeans, chinos or even with trousers and a sports jacket combination. In the US, bluchers are sometimes used to refer to derbies. However, purists disagree with this practice and insist that the two have subtle distinctions. Here is a compilation of our must-haves from MR PORTER.

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ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

GEORGE CLEVERLY

These black calf leather lace-ups feature exaggerated flexible rubber tread sole and features a round toe, a patent toe cap and stitching details, perfect for smart occasions. USD 960

HENDER SCHEME This pair has been made in Japan from supple leather, designed with side lace and pull tabs it rests on gripped Vibram rubber soles. USD 754

This pair of Archie derby shoes are made in England from midnight-blue horween shell cordovan leather with storm welt commando soles. USD 850

J. M. WESTON

These leather-trimmed suede Kiltie derby shoes are crafted by hand in France from navy suede, and feature raised seams and detachable kiltie fringing. USD 1,410

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FA S H I O N • B E S P O K E M AT T E R S

YUSUCHE ONO

BESPOKE MATTERS Meet the Japanese bespoke tailor who has a two-year waiting list in his order book

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The bespoke tailoring tradition in Japan is relatively short given that western-style clothing was rarely worn in the country until the 1930s. When suits did become more commonplace, the style was very much English. More recently, a new stock of Italian-trained Japanese tailors has come to the fore. One of the most prominent among these is Yusuche Ono. Ono started his career at Beams and Strasburgo’s menswear section. He then went to Florence at the relatively late age of 26, to become an apprentice to Sartoria Marinaro. He later moved to Naples to work for Panico where he learnt a great deal and developed a deep respect for the Panico style. Ono currently offers his services in the Jingumae district of Tokyo, under his own Anglofilo banner. Ono spoke briefly with Signé magazine on the pleasures and challenges of being a Japanese bespoke tailor.

How does the Japanese suit style differ from the English and Italian styles? The Japanese bespoke world represents a variety of the world’s traditional forms. My focus has always been the tailoring of Italy, and there are many proponents of the regional styles of Italian tailoring working in Japan today.

Take us through Ono’s process of creating the perfect suit. I operate a small atelier, producing everything myself by hand. When a customer visits me, we spend some time talking about what they hope to achieve with their order, and as I take their measurements, we discuss how they will wear the suit or jacket, for what occasion it is being commissioned, and how they generally like to feel in a garment. We choose from an extensive collection of clothes and decide on the details they would prefer. I insist on at least two fittings. The garments are delivered in approximately two years. My aim is to always continue the tradition of entirely handmade quality tailoring as I was taught in Italy. I do not believe in cutting corners.

What advice would you give our readers who may want a bespoke suit made for themselves? I believe that the customer must trust the tailor in all aspects; their sense, skill, philosophy and values. The relationship between the tailor and the customer should be lifelong, so finding someone in whom you can truly believe, and trust is the most important factor.

Do you feel that bespoke tailoring can appeal to the new generation? Of course, but it is not without its drawbacks and difficulties. Since bespoke tailoring is the epitome of traditional handcraftsmanship, it can sometimes be inconvenient for a modern customer used to traditional retail. The man who appreciates bespoke handcraft belongs to no particular generation, but rather is of a certain mentality and quality.

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ANGLOFILO 3-15-4 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan anglofilosumisura@gmail.com Instagram: @anglofilo


Yusuche Ono

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THREADS

A ROYAL SPIN

The story of Silk is long and complexly intertwined with many diverse strands of the human experience

“Once a guy starts wearing silk pyjamas, it’s hard to get up early,” Eddie Arcaro, the American Thoroughbred horse racing Hall of Fame jockey once said, and beautifully articulates in a few words the splendour and indulgent nature of Silk. The story of silk dates back to ancient times with several kinds of wild and semi-wild silks being produced in China, South Asia, Europe and in the Americas. However, the production of cultivated Mulberry Silk, among the finest fibres known to man, originates in Central China, in the Yangshao culture, along the Yellow River sometime between 5,000 and 3,000 BC. Silk remained confined within China until the opening of the Silk Road trade routes around 207

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BC. As in the past, China dominates the cultivation of silk today at close to 150,000 metric tonnes annually, followed by India at around 30,000. Mulberry silk is made from silkworms that are raised in captivity under exacting conditions and fed an exclusive diet of Mulberry leaves to increase their body size by nearly 10,000 times before they go into the cocoon stage. The silk comes from the gelatinous strands produced by the worm to spin its cocoon. The extraction begins by soaking the cocoon in hot water before the worm morphs and hatches. This causes the tightly spun strands of the cocoon to unravel into individual filaments that can be up to a mile long in length. The filaments are then processed to remove

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a gummy layer called Sericin which protects the fibres as well as causes them to stick to each other while the cocoon is being spun. What is left is a protein fibre that can be woven or knit into a variety of fabrics. In modern menswear, silk is a popular material for shirts, ties, squares, linings, pyjamas, and robes. Apart from these, it is ideal for luxury furnishings such as bedding, upholstery, carpets, wall coverings and hangings. Supposedly discovered by a queen, once used as a currency, jealously guarded with a death penalty, once the backbone of China’s commerce and industry and always coveted for its sensual suavity, silk will forever be a synonym for refined luxury.


LATEST

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN SS19 Streetwall Briefcase Calf leather in Havana AED 12,290

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FA S H I O N

BALLY Inspired by the original style, the VitaParcours high-top trainer is made from red calf suede with a modern rubber sole and flexible upper for comfort.

ACNE STUDIOS These Rockaway multi white are technical sneakers based on ‘90s American urban sportswear. Made from calfskin with contrast trims and mesh panels.

OFF-WHITE C/O VIRGIL ABLOH These made in Italy industrial paneled leather and suede high-top sneakers feature logo jacquard strap around ankle and logo embossed rubber outsole.

ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA ROBERTO CAVALLI Past and future collide in the new V1PER sneaker with an aerodynamic design defined by a chunky rubber sole with an intriguing 3D python pattern.

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Make your mark in Cesare. Ultra-light, rich in detail—this is Zegna’s first personalised sneaker. Inspired by the graphics and typefaces of ancient Rome, along with the name of Emperor Caesar, these hightop sneakers are made of smooth Brown leather and come with Black and Yellow details and White micro-mesh inserts. Featuring contemporary design with the XXX logo on the sides, soles with tread grooves, and a lace-up closure.

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DUNHILL This suede and cow hide trimmed mesh style Radial Runner sneaker has been crafted in Italy with their signature rubber sole and heat-bonded tape around the toes and heels for durability. They have padded collars and thick midsoles that make them highly comfortable.

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FA S H I O N • S T Y L E S P O T L I G H T

medy Navani

STYLE SPOTLIGHT The always sharply dressed Medy Navani, CEO of Design Haus Medy, an award-winning architecture and interior design firm based in Dubai, follows the “Dress to Impress” mantra in life. He shares some of his best kept fashion secrets with us. Style for you is, A way of expressing emotions, it represents us and it’s the first point of contact. In a world full of constant visual impacts, our style defines us and differentiates us at the same time. Your fashion sense in a sentence Dress to impress! No matter where you go or who you meet, what you wear is how you portray yourself to the world. It is important to make the statement you want. Trendy fashion versus classic pieces It’s the combination of both which creates the most stunning looks. You can pair a fashionable YSL jeans with a shirt and combine it with some vintage military boots and Biker Leather jacket Go-to pieces in your closet White and black tailor-made shirts as they just fit with almost any outfit. I am also addicted to tailored suits, the more the better. Whether wearing something bespoke or from a high street store, it is important to choose a suit that fits your frame and is cut to the right length. A good suit can last you a lifetime.

Style icon To name a few, David Gandy, Steve McQueen, Johnny Depp, Sean Connery, Zayn Malik, David Beckham. Favorite brands Tom Ford, Dior, Philipp Plein and Brunello Cuccinelli. When I can, I prefer to have my suits tailor-made by a very talented designer in Dubai. Fashion cringe moment On one of my business trips to West Africa, I asked a renowned local tailor to create cool, traditional shirts and left him with the freedom to select fabric and shape. Let’s just say that the shirts enjoy the virtue of having never been worn. Style tip Be experimental, be brave, know what is good for you, feel comfortable and don’t forget, it’s always the Man which makes the suit and not the other way around. Take care of yourself and stay fit.

Work attire I love creating different combinations when it comes to my outfit. At the end of the day, being a person in a creative field such as interior design and architecture, it is not typical to wear a three-piece suit to work. I get great support from my partner as well, who is a fashion designer.

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Medy Navani, CEO of Design Haus Medy

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FA S H I O N • M A K E A B I G I M P R E S S I O N

MAKE A BIG IMPRESSION Three unique accessories from the Tateossian collection that go a long way in showcasing the wearer’s individualism Lapel pins and tie clips are intriguing accessories that can add sophistication to any suit and tie combination. Besides being a practical way to keep the tie in place, the tie clip is a miniature billboard of one’s sense of style. Although invented in the 1800s, they became popular in the 1920s and were a mainstay of men’s formal wear between the 1940s and 1960s. The tie clip went into decline as men’s fashion became more casual. In recent years, however, tie clips have seen a slow revival and is now seen as a definite mark of refined taste. Lapel pins are widely used as tiny symbols of everything from

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causes to brands, political parties and heads of state. However, lapels can also be a subtle nod to one’s individualism and are one of the biggest current trends in men’s fashion. Strictly speaking, shirt studs, the less common sibling of cufflinks, are worn with tuxedos. However, there is no law preventing one from wearing them with cufflinks in other forms of formal wear as long it is done appropriately, and they are matching. Tateossian of London has unveiled some attractive examples of these accessories for the discerning man.

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LAPEL PIN The lapel pin should be positioned on the left lapel and next to the pocket square for better impact. The pin can be worn with just the head showing or, depending on the design of the pin, may be worn with the bottom end of the stem showing. In the latter case, the lapel pin’s stem should be parallel to the angle of the lapel. A buttonhole, if it exists on the lapel, can be used to attach the pin, or it can be attached by carefully piercing the lapel.

Rose Gold Fern Lapel Pin The popular image of a fern has been replicated in a pin which beautifully conveys the texture and shape of the leaf. This fern is offered in rose gold or silver colour.

Rhodium Black Rose Lapel Pin The Rose lapel pin features a metal stem with rose gold plating crowned by a rose in black enamel. Another variant features a combination of rhodium plated metal topped by a red enamel rose.

TIE CLIPS The ideal position to place the tie bar is between the third and fourth button. It should never be wider in width than the tie, but it may be either the same width or shorter. The colour of the tie bar should match with the prominent metals of the wardrobe such as a watch, belt buckle and so on. The functional purpose of a tie bar is to hold a tie in place, and therefore, when used, the tie should not come loose.

Carbon Fibre Tie Clip This D-shape tie clip features genuine patterned black carbon fibre inlay on rhodium-plated metal for an industrial look.

Braided Rhodium Tie Clip The Braided tie clip features intricately twisted wires that create a textured and eye-catching accessory made with rhodium plated base metal in silver. Also available in various diamond patterns.

SHIRT STUDS Shirt studs are always worn with matching cufflinks, and with a tuxedo suit, black is the traditional colour. However, they may be worn with other formal wear, and the colour of studs may vary depending on the suit. Studs are sold in a set of four.

Rotondo Guilloché Rose Gold and Mother of Pearl stud set Rotondo Guilloché stud set is based on the Guilloché pattern, an extremely precise and intricate decorative technique of engraving, in this case, on a disc of white mother of pearl. The base material is rose gold colour plated stainless steel while the clasp is made from rhodium plated stainless steel.

Titanium and Black Agate Stud Set These studs have a gleaming finish, and every inlay features a ring of exposed plating and Tateossian’s classic signature diamond pattern.

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FA S H I O N • L U C K Y S E V E N T E E N

LUCKY SEVENTEEN Burberry’s B-Series, a limited-edition product drop, released on the 17th of every month Burberry’s B-Series forms part of a series of monthly product drops designed by Riccardo Tisci. Ever since he assumed the role of the Chief Creative Officer at Burberry, he has been switching up the brand’s release strategy. As part of the fashion house’s new and aggressive marketing plan, Burberry releases its B-series on the 17th of every month. Burberry unveiled its latest B-Series at noon GMT on January 17, 2019, exclusively through Burberry’s Instagram, LINE and Kakao platforms for 24 hours. The limited-edition unisex pieces, a red Thomas Burberry Monogram polo shirt and sweatshirt, drew inspiration from the debut runway collection of the fashion house’s Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci. The latest B Series release features the TB Monogram which was designed in collaboration with British graphic designer and art director, Peter Saville. The new monogram, which launched in August 2018, celebrates the heritage of the fashion house in a return to the spirit of its founder, whose initials are referenced in the design. The first product of the series, a limited-edition run released on October 17, consisted of a unisex white T-shirt and jersey sweatshirt featuring Burberry’s new ‘TB’ monogram in red, a nod to the brand’s founder Thomas Burberry. Why the number 17? Apparently, it is Tisci’s lucky number. In addition to it being a part of the designer’s Instagram handle (@riccardotisci17), he has made numerous references to the number throughout his career. Most recently was for his Burberry debut itself, which occurred on September 17th last year at 17:00 hrs. The next B Series will be released on 17 February 2019.

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F A S H I O N • S T AY I N G T R U E T O I T S R O O T S

STAYING TRUE TO ITS ROOTS A closer look at Serapian, a true legend of the luxury goods industry

“Our Clients are connoisseurs, Sophisticated men and women. They are wearing watches from ‘true watchmakers.’ They are wearing shoes from ‘true shoemakers.’ They are looking for bags from ‘true maroquiniers.’ They value quality, want authenticity, seek for rarity. They are hedonistic;” so reads a brochure by Serapian, the Milanese atelier and manufacturer of some of the finest leather goods in the world; a maison known for its uncompromising ‘Made in Italy’ commitment throughout its existence. Richemont, the Swiss luxury group, bought the legendary Italian atelier in August 2017 for an undisclosed amount. Serapian was well known to the Richemont group as their working relationship goes all the way back to the 1970s as the atelier supplied high-end leather creations to some of Richemont’s luxury brands such as Cartier, and Dunhill. “The Richemont group has been able to assess Serapian production quality; an extremely rare and exceptional expertise in the working of leather. The acquisition strategy will consist of developing the Maison, also to create production synergies across the group’s own portfolio, and to continue to supply to outside luxury brands,” Maxime Bohé, Serapian Creations & Marketing Director told FashionNetwork.com. The story of Serapian began when Stefano Serapian, a young Armenian refugee fleeing the conflicts of the 1920s, arrives in Italy. After having performed some apprenticeships to learn the art of fine leathercrafts, he began designing and crafting leather goods in 1928, that he was selling in Milan and his surroundings with his bicycle. Early in the 1940s, Stefano met his future wife Gina Flori, a talented artist in her own right. Their union set in motion a long-lasting personal and creative partnership, and in 1945, immediately after the war, Stefano and Gina founded a Bespoke Leather Atelier, right in the centre of Milan, via Jommelli 35. The two worked side by side, supported by a team of skilled leather artisans, and devised innovative techniques that are regarded even today as benchmarks of style and elegance. The quality and uniqueness of Serapian craft was noticed and appreciated by sophisticated ladies and members of the high society in Milan and beyond; commissioning bespoke handbags, in all sorts of colours and materials. In 1973, Stefano and Gina’s son, Ardavast Serapian, became the CEO of the company and continued his father’s commitment to ‘made in Italy’ and craftsmanship, which

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is still at the core of the brand’s strong appeal. This decade also witnessed the Serapian maison begin to participate in international exhibitions which lead to important collaborations with prestigious international partners, like Richemont, which continue to this day. The rise in the demand for personalised products in the 1980s prompted Ardavast to further expand the maison’s bespoke services. Anything could now be made to customers’ specifications, using materials, colours and details of their choice. However, in the 1990s, when many luxury brands began to move their manufacturing to more cost-effective production centres, Serapian stood firmly by its ‘Made in Italy’ commitment. From the choice of leather to the development of models, everything was done in Italy as it always was. This had the added benefit of being able to strictly monitor every phase of production, and in the long run, it paid dividends. Thanks to its uncompromising commitment to its core philosophy, Serapian is today an epitome of Milanese elegance. It is well established as a favourite among the members of Italian high society and beyond. It is an ambassador of Italian craftsmanship, using the noblest leathers and materials such as pythons, ostriches, crocodiles, alligators. It is among the few ateliers today to offer true handcrafted bespoke services worldwide. It can boast several distinguishing signatures and has developed exquisite materials and design icons that form the basis of their seasonal collections. Mosaico is a unique leather weave process created in 1947 and is today an emblem of the savoir-faire of the maison and is entirely handmade by expert craftsmen in soft lamb nappa. Cachemire Leather is made from naturally tumbled calfskin which is exceptionally soft to the touch, like the finest cachemire, and hence the name. Evoluzione, unveiled in 1965, is made from prized calfskin, printed with a unique design and with a texture exclusive to the maison. It is specially treated to make it resistant to water and scratches. Stepan was unveiled in 1976 and is named after the founder. The coated resin spread cotton is a highly resilient and waterproof material. As an emblem of the maison, it has ‘S’ etched throughout its surface. Serapian’s design icons for women include the Meliné Bag, initially commissioned by a client in the 1960s who wanted a compact bag to be carried on intercontinental flights; the Villa Bag, also created in the 60s by Stefano Serapian, whose

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Backpack in soft cognac alligator SIGNÉ • EDITION 33

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F A S H I O N • S T AY I N G T R U E T O I T S R O O T S

Riserva Paraggi bag from the Fall/Winter 2019-20 collection

Pouch from the Mosaico series, Fall/Winter 2019-20 collection 44

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Small Holdall in the Eclipse Black color from the Fall/Winter 2019-20 collection

rounded and pure lines have become a symbol of understated elegance; and the Secret Bag is a shoulder bag in soft and light Mosaico nappa leather whose weaving technique allows for a high degree of personalisation with leather inserts. For men, there is the East/West Tote in calfskin, an elegant companion for travelling or leisure; Holdall is the perfect companion for leisure and yachting escapes; and the Mezza Luna bag is another iconic symbol of the maison noted for its unique craftsmanship since 1971. They also have the Riserva Limited Editions. The Serapian family has acquired and preserved unique and rare leathers since the creation of its atelier in the 1940s. The maison, from time to time, selects some of these precious vintage leathers in the production of the Riserva Limited Editions. For example, a Palmellato leather from 1972 was used in the creation of a briefcase in the Riserva I Edition and a suitcase as part of the Riserva II Edition, both of which were limited to 28 pieces. For the Fall-Winter 2019 season, a unique vintage leather preserved since 1983 served as the base for the creation of three

models limited to only ten pieces: the Riserva Folio, briefcase and luggage, all in deep burgundy with black highlights. Under ‘Exotic Creations’ this year, they have alligator presented as a slim briefcase in navy blue, a backpack in cognac, a billfold wallet and simple card case, both in navy blue. Under the ‘Mosaico’ collection, the maison has a medium backpack, a large backpack, travel bag, a briefcase, pouches in three sizes, north/south envelope, charms and wallets in cognac, navy blue, and black. Some have the trademark Mosaico pattern in black and white. The Cachemire collection features slim, double and Mezza Luna briefcases, totes, backpacks, big weekender, suit carrier, and folio clutch in black, grey, caramel, and navy blue. “Serapian serves leather connoisseurs. We wish to keep this exclusive high-end positioning and maintain our quality with this idea of being authentic and rare,” said Bohé. On the evidence of this statement, we can expect the legacy of the brand and the maison to continue under Richemont, still hand in hand with some members of the Serapian founding family.

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FRAGRANCE FILE

EDITOR’S PICKS Colonia Sandalo, Aqua di Parma Fresh and citrus notes of orange, bergamot and lemon meet the rich and smooth notes of sandalwood, amber and tonka fava with heart notes of cardamom and lavender 100ml - AED 750

Encens Mythique- Absolus d’Orient, Guerlain A neo-oriental blend of frankincense that caresses spicy rose with ardent accents AED 750

Noir Anthracite, Tom Ford Top notes of bergamot and warm ginger exposes the floral heart composed of tuberose, jasmine sambac against rich woodiness from cedarwood and santal 100ml - AED 625

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Porsche Design 180, Porsche Design Citrus chords meet sweet spicy cardamom, black pepper and clary sage with base notes of cedarwood and vetiver with a hint of vanilla 100ml - AED 400

Brit For Men, Burberry Fresh, oriental woody fragrance blends juicy green mandarin and freshly cut ginger with wild rose and spicy hints of cedarwood 100ml - AED 300

Colognisé, Nishane A lemon based fragrance with refreshing notes of bergamot and grapefruit that is complimented by robust musk and floral scents of jasmine and neroli 100ml - AED 569

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GROOMING • OF CONSISTENCY AND UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY

Of CONSISTENCYand UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY Signé speaks with Thomas Buisson, Aesop’s EMEA General Manager, to get under the proverbial skin of the brand

Every brand wishes to be different and often goes to great lengths to achieve it but often falls short. Some, however, carve out a niche for themselves by having a clear idea of what they want to be, and then uncompromisingly sticking to it. One such brand is the Melbourne, Australia based luxury skin and hair care company, Aesop. “To a certain degree, the personality of the founder has been essential for the brand over the 30 years of its existence. The consistency with which it has been faithful to the original idea is the strongest aspect of the brand and today also our biggest challenge is to protect it,” Thomas Buisson, Aesop’s EMEA General Manager, told Signé during his recent visit to Dubai. “We don’t do celebrity endorsements. In the few cases when we do use a face [for marketing,] it’s not the usual retouched perfect faces that you often see elsewhere, but they are real people’s faces. We don’t launch new products as much as others because we don’t pretend to have invented a new molecule every six months. We don’t do anti-ageing products because we don’t want to

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overpromise or make people think things that are not true,” Thomas added. His words are not just rhetoric. One only has to visit their store in The Dubai Mall or their website aesop.com to see this approach in practice. The website, rather than prick one’s vanity, seeks to engage one’s intellect. In addition to listing all the products offered by the brand under the sub-headings Skin, Hair, Body, Fragrance, Home, Kits & Travel, and Gifts, there is also a section called Read. Here one can read about the brand’s history and philosophy, and about the Aesop Foundation which fosters literacy, storytelling, and diversity. Here one also finds ‘The Ledger,’ a collection of short anecdotes, and ‘The Fabulist,’ a collection of essays; both touch upon a broad range of topics written by individuals from around the world. Then there is the ‘Taxonomy of Design’ dedicated to exploring the story behind the brand’s various bespoke stores around the world. And of course, there are the quotes: “Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly,” states one by Saint Francis de Sales.

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The story of the brand dates back to the 1980s when Aesop began as a hairdressing salon started by Dennis Paphitis. His father was a barber and Dennis trained as a hairdresser after he dropped out of school. He is a self-made and self-taught man, well-travelled and incredibly well read. He had already, at that time, wanted to bring everything that had amazed him in his travels into a concept. Dennis got into making his own products mostly because he hated the smell of the products available in the market, in particular, hair colours. He first started to mix his blend of vegetablebased essential oils to them for hiding the smell of the chemicals that were used. Then he developed a few other products of his own, mostly hair products but also some hand products that he used in the salon. If you saw images of the salon, you will notice that it already had all the codes of Aesop. It had the same sleek minimalistic design. The labels are very similar to those on the products of today. Everything was already there. Together with Suzanne Santos, Aesop’s first employee and current Product


Thomas Buisson, EMEA General Manager, Aesop SIGNÉ • EDITION 33

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GROOMING • OF CONSISTENCY AND UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY

“We never launch products for the sake of PR. We launch a product when we believe that there is an inherent need for a product within our range. In the majority of the cases, it is a necessity within our range that determines the launch of new products.” Thomas Buisson

Advocate, they had an approach to serving customers which was about developing a deep understanding of the customer’s requirement and then fulfilling them to the best possible level. The salon became very popular, and it was hard to get an appointment. So, it had to work on a sort of subscription basis where you would get a slot every six weeks or so. As the popularity and reputation of the salon grew, so did the demand for Dennis’ hair care and skin care products. He “did not make a conscious move into selling products. It just happened organically,” says Thomas. However, given Dennis’ perfectionist nature, “he was not happy with the fact that his products were sold through third parties” where he did not have complete control of the merchandising. This led to the realisation that “there was potential in retailing his products on his own. This was when he thought he needed to find someone to help him run this business. So, he hired Michael O’Keefe who is still our CEO today.” Michael “comes from a completely different background, investment banking and trading, and with traditional education. He has an MBA from the London School of Economics. And so, the personality of Aesop today, for me, is the alchemy of these two persons. It’s not like one is commercial and the other creative. Dennis has this unique blend of taste and creativity, but at the same time, he’s got a really good commercial sense. Michael has a long-term view of things. He’s like someone who is always two or three steps ahead of you while playing chess.” An accomplished triathlete, Michael studied applied sciences and engineering prior to his MBA. At the height of the dot-com era when a lot of new businesses were popping up for Michael to choose from, none of them really convinced Michael to jump ship until

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Aesop store at The Dubai Mall SIGNÉ • EDITION 33

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GROOMING • OF CONSISTENCY AND UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY

he was introduced to Dennis. Michael instinctively knew that he had found a product with great potential. Working with formulations appealed to his engineer side, the opportunity to build a brand from the ground up appealed to his MBA side, but more importantly, in Dennis, he had found someone who shared his values on how to build a product and run a business. “When he created the brand, Dennis did not want to be another one of those cosmetic giants that sell the notion that you are going to look like someone famous if you use their products. Our products are based on the notion of pure pleasure that one gets from a beautiful aroma. So, I will not say that your life is going to be different after using it but that it is going to be more pleasurable. Dennis also felt that it was important to ensure that there would be a certain level of lightness and humour in the way we sell our products.” To illustrate the latter point, Thomas gave us the example of one of their recently released products; the Post Poo Drops. “The essential oils that we use, we can’t use the bottom part of it, so we

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used to keep them in the company toilets for fragrance. When anyone went to the toilets for the big projects, they could put a few drops and the concentrated aroma, particularly rose or lavender, was strong enough to kill the foul odour. So one day, Dennis said: ‘why don’t we try and make a product out of it.’ Later, he told me after a meeting: ‘I think we should call it Post Poo drops.’ In French, it’s much worse. It’s called ‘Gouttes AntiOdeurs de Merde.’ So I said: ‘Dennis this is too strong. We can’t have that word on a label.’ But he said: ‘Give it some time to digest.’ It took some six months to formulate it and by that time I got used to it but when we launched it, it was all over the press. It got a lot of attention because it was funny and actual at the same time. When the conservative French newspaper Le Figaro wanted to write about it, they used dots because they did not want to use that word.” Product development, in general, at Aesop is a rather straight forward process but again there are strict guidelines: “We have meetings every three months where we discuss product proposals,

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and sometimes we get some suggestions from our retail stores. We never launch products for the sake of PR. We launch a product when we believe that there is an inherent need for a product within our range.” For example, “We have products for dry skin, and we have products for oily skin, but we did not have a product that was suitable for combination skin. They are complicated because they are both dry and oily at the same time. So recently we launched a new range which is called ‘In Two Minds’ specifically for this skin type. So, I would say that in the majority of the cases, it is a necessity within our range that determines the launch of new products.” Most of these products are contained in the brand’s signature “amber glass bottles [which] come from the pharmaceutical industry. They were chosen because they protect the contents from the sun and light, and because we didn’t want to invest in packaging, we didn’t want to invest in boxes. Today this style is somewhat overused, but back then it was unique.” Also, the utilitarian monochrome labels found on the bottles


Aesop Gift kits

and other types of containers “may look like a simple arrangement of letters and lines but it is not a generic label. It is the fruit of artistic calculation by a dedicated team of graphic artists where every label is designed to create a pattern when all the products are displayed together. The lines they create also become part the signature lines of our stores.” One may say that after the products and their packaging, the brands other distinctive signature comes from the nearly 190 retail stores spread across 50 countries. “All our stores are different. The only common elements are our products and the way they are merchandised. The merchandising is built around the idea of series and moments of chaos. So you have the perfectly arranged products in series and the lines of the decor and on the labelling are the distinction lines that assigns the space. Below these lines, there is a kind of an explosion of words. So wherever you may be, you will recognise these lines.” The first Aesop store opened in 2004, in the Melbourne bayside suburb of St Kilda. The guidelines adopted then became the guidelines for all future stores. When considering new locations, Aesop makes the effort to weave themselves into

the fabric of the street and add something of merit rather than impose a discordant presence, and to use a locally relevant design vocabulary and to work with what is already in place. The recently opened flagship store in Edgehill, Nashville, USA, beautifully demonstrates Aesop’s retail space concept. The 74-square metre store is situated in a “relaxed” neighbourhood and is housed in one of eight 1920s brick buildings in a complex that happens to be a neighbourhood institution. It was Aesop’s first American collaboration with Parisian architects Ciguë, with whom Aesop “has an enduring creative partnership.” The design “draws inspiration from Woodstock Vintage Lumber, a local supplier that salvages the skeletons of early textile mills, warehouses and homes in the area. Ciguë focused on first-growth Heart Pine logs reclaimed from pioneers’ homes, which provide dramatic spatial anchors—both sculptural and structural— to the otherwise pared-back interior. Cut to various heights, the textured logs are dispersed around the cavernous volume, which is stark with its surfaces of white stucco, lime-washed brick and polished concrete [floors]. Oriented vertically,

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they act as the structural support system for shelving, storage and joinery elements throughout the light-filled space, their strong visual presence also affecting a dynamic aesthetic.” Aesop’s first stand-alone store for the region, in the Dubai Mall, features screed flooring, lacquered timber wall panels, vegetal leather shelve covers, as well as aluminium shelving, counters and detailing in a typical restrained materiality approach. In keeping with their region-centric approach, the brand has put together the ‘Dubai’ travel case featuring a selection of Aesop’s favourites, suitable for all skin types and ideal for urban-dwellers and travellers. The brand is slowly but surely gaining traction in the region without resorting to much fanfare and glitzy marketing, without compromising on their core values. A quote, by Federico Fellini, on the wall of Aesop’s headquarters in Melbourne’s trendy Fitzroy district reads: “The visionary is the only true realist.” Dennis Paphitis and Michael O’Keefe are, in a way, the embodiment of Fellini’s words, particularly considering what they have achieved in the past 30 years.

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911

GENERATION EIGHT Porsche has unveiled the eighth-generation of the 911 Carrera S and 4S Coupé models

Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

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A design classic is a manufactured object which has a timeless aesthetic value. There are many that lay claim to this title, but few stand up to scrutiny. The Porsche 911 is without a doubt one of the best examples of a design classic. In continuous production since 1963, the one-millionth 911 rolled out from the production line in mid-2017. Now, Porsche has unveiled the eighthgeneration of the 911, the Carrera S and 4S Coupé models. The latest 911, internally coded as 992, remains timeless as always but has a more muscular look, improved performance and with new and innovative interior features. The most innovative feature of the new 911 is the “world first” Wet mode, which is included as standard. This function detects water on the road, preconditions the control systems accordingly and warns the driver, who can then set up the vehicle for enhanced safety by merely pushing a button or using the mode switch on the steering wheel that comes as part of the Sport Chrono Package. The warning and brake assist system, also fitted as standard, detects the risk of collisions with moving objects and initiates emergency braking if necessary. Night Vision Assist with a thermal imaging camera is optionally available for the 911 for the first time. The adaptive cruise control option includes automatic distance control, stopand-go function, reversible occupant protection and an innovative autonomous Emergency Assist function. The new 911 Carrera S and Carrera 4S deliver enhanced performance thanks to the next generation of the turbocharged flat-six engine which now produces 450 hp. This corresponds to an increase of 30 hp compared to the previous generation. Both 911 models can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in under four seconds. The rear-wheel-drive 911 Carrera S does it in 3.7 seconds while the all-wheel-drive 911 Carrera 4S can achieve it in just 3.6 seconds. These figures make both cars 0.4 seconds faster than their predecessors. The optional Sport Chrono Package reduces the sprint by a further 0.2 seconds. The top speed has been measured at 308 kmph for the Carrera S and 306 kmph for the 4S. The fuel consumption of the Carrera S is 8.9 litres per 100 km, while for the 4S it is 9.0 litres per 100 km. These consumption figures, as well as the cars’ CO2 emission values, were determined in

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A U T O M O T I V E • 9 1 1 : G E N E R AT I O N E I G H T

Interiors of the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

accordance with the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). The exterior design features a significantly wider wheel housings arch for the 20-inch front wheels and 21-inch rear wheels. Electrical pop-out handles in the doors are integral to the tapered and smooth side contour. At the front, the body is 45 mm wider, and the bonnet has a pronounced recess that evokes the design of the first 911 generations. The rear end is now the same width across all models, highlighted by the slimline centre section, a significantly wider variable-position rear spoiler, and the distinctively seamless, elegant light strip. Apart from the front and rear sections, the entire outer shell is now made from aluminium. The redesigned interior is characterised by the clear and straight lines of the dashboard with recessed instruments, inspired by the 911 models from the 1970s. Alongside the typical central rev counter, frameless displays provide information to the driver. The centre screen of the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) is now 10.9 inches and can be operated easily and without distraction thanks to the new interior layout. The standard PCM features include navigation as well as Porsche Connect Plus. Located underneath the PCM is a compact switch unit with five buttons for direct access to essential vehicle functions. In terms of digitalisation, the latest 911 offers permanent connectivity as well as new functions and services. The two new models are now available for order. The 911 Carrera S is priced at AED 474,600 and the 4S is priced at AED 504,600 including VAT. First deliveries are expected mid 2019.

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THE ITALIAN

BEAUTY WITH SUPERPOWERS Pininfarina is set for the launch of their debut hypercar, the Battista, in March 2019

“Pininfarina has an unprecedented heritage of delivering cars that are both beautiful to look at and technically innovative. Creating this combination in the first Pininfarina-branded Hypercar is a dream come true,” says Luca Borgogno, the Design Director of Automobili Pininfarina, a subsidiary of the legendary design house. Pininfarina is about to launch its first vehicle, and what a car it promises to be; the most powerful Italian sports car ever. Called the Battista, the car is named after the Pininfarina founder, Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina. The all-electric hypercar will be designed and hand-built in very limited numbers at Pininfarina SpA under the watchful eye of Paulo Pininfarina, Battista’s grandson and current Pininfarina SpA Chairman. It will be a sustainably-developed, fully electric hypercar churning out an incredible 1,900 hp while producing zero emissions. Its four electric engines, one per wheel, will deliver 0-100 kmph acceleration in less than two seconds, and reach 300 kmph in less than 12 seconds. It is expected to have a range of more than 500 km with 80 per cent charging in 25 to 40 mins through the Ionity charging network. The car is 100% handcrafted in Cambiano, Turin, Italy. It is set to make its debut at the next Geneva Motor Show and will be available from late 2020 at a price estimated between US $2m and US $2.5m with only a total of 150 pieces to be produced; 50 for the USA, 50 for Europe, and 50 for the Middle East and Asia. A prototype that is about “80 per cent” similar to the final design was unveiled to a select group of media last November. One of the distinguishing highlights of the design are the two segregated wings at the back of the car, which are an integral part of the car’s aerodynamics. The model presented also featured an LED strip on the front and rear end, electric blue details on the wheels and the car was finished in distinct blue paint. The interior, we are told, will be driver-focused. The display will have two touch screens positioned on either side of the steering wheel. The owners will have a wide range of interior customisation options in terms of materials and colours. It may come as a surprise to many to learn that Pininfarina has never embarked on a solo car build thus far. After all, this is the Pininfarina that designed and, in many cases, built the bodywork for such famed mid-century marques as Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lancia and Fiat, as well as modern designs for the likes of Bentley, BMW, and Maserati. Carrozzeria Pininfarina was founded in 1930 by Battista “Pinin” Farina as a car design firm and coachbuilder in Cambiano, which falls within the Italian Automotive hub of Turin. He was born Battista Farina in 1893 in Cortanze, as the tenth of eleven children. As per Piedmontese custom, he was lovingly called “Pinin” for being the “baby” of the family.

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“This is genuinely a dream come true. My grandfather always had the vision that one day there would be a stand-alone range of Pininfarinabranded cars. This hypercar will boast world-beating performance, technological innovation and of course elegant styling. For me, we simply had to call it Battista. His dream becomes reality today as we link our glorious past with the future of motoring.” Paolo Pininfarina, Chairman, Pininfarina SpA

Michael Perschke, CEO, Automobili Pininfarina (Left) and Paolo Pininfarina, Chairman, Pininfarina SpA (Right) 60

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At the age of 12, “Pinin” Farina started working in his elder brother Giovanni’s Stabilimenti Industriali Farina body shop. He was there till the 1930s, and it was there that he honed his skill as a coach builder, and it was there that his passion for the craft was ignited. He set up his carrozzeriato with financial help from his wife’s family and Vincenzo Lancia to focus on the design and detailing of high-end, limited-production cars. By the end of its first decade, the company-built bodies for Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Isotta Fraschini, Hispano-Suiza, Fiat, Cadillac, and Rolls-Royce. Royalty from Europe and Asia, landed aristocrats and celebrities signed on his order-books and the name Pininfarina became synonymous with breathtaking design and uncompromising quality. In 1961, Battista Farina officially changed his name to Battista Pininfarina after it was authorised by the President of the Italian Republic in consideration of his achievements in social and industrial activities. In the mid-1930s, Lancia pioneered the monocoque in automobile construction, and because of its close relationship with the marque, Farina became the first coachbuilder to build cars using the new technique at a time when others saw the frameless construction as the end of the independent coachbuilder. Pininfarina went on to build several legendary models for Lancia, starting with the 1931 Lancia Dilambda, several interpretations of the Astura, Aprilia, Aurelia and all the way to the Montecarlo. The other great collaboration was with Alfa Romeo. The marque had already achieved legendary status, with a hat trick of victories in the old Mille Miglia, when the fledgling Pininfarina was given the challenge of adding the supercharged 6C 1750 Gran Sport to its list of accomplishments. The collaboration, which lasted almost seventy years, has resulted in the construction

of one-off specials, advanced styling research, design and the production of special low-volume models. Although the collaboration with Alfa Romeo produced some of the most desirable automobiles in history, the 1938 6C 2300B Mille Miglia Spider being a supreme example, it is Pininfarina’s collaboration with Ferrari that really took things to the next level. When the collaboration first began, however, there was a great deal of scepticism. “Ferrari and Pinin? It won’t last. It’s like putting two Prima Donna in the same opera,” the Pininfarina website states was the general opinion in the automotive circles in the Fifties. “Since these two giants met, their combined marques have defined some of the most beautiful cars ever built in a constantly evolving relationship that has now lasted for 60 years and shows no sign of ending, as confirmed by the around 200 Ferraris designed by Pininfarina to-date.” The design of the Battista, the embodiment of the brand’s future, draws inspiration from some of Pininfarina’s most beautiful and iconic cars from its past; icons such as the Lancia Astura “Bocca” from 1936, Cisitalia from 1947, Alfa Romeo Spider Duetto from 1966, Dino Berlinetta special from 1965, Ferrari F40 from 1987, Maserati Birdcage 75th from 2005 and Ferrari Modulo from 1970. It is considered to be the link between the past and the future. Nick Heidfeld has been recruited as the Battista’s development driver, given his experience in Formula 1 and Formula E, to help fine-tune the car’s performance and handling. The brand has been very secretive and has released minimal information thus far about the Battista. However, what information has come to light has caused some severe ripples in the automotive pond and has automotive journalists wringing their hands in anticipation.

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AUTOMOTIVE • SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE SUPERIOR LUXURY

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE

SUPERIOR LUXURY Maserati’s model Year 2019 offers two new V8 models and an improved luxury package that can be retrofitted to previous models

Levante is a wind that blows across the Mediterranean, mild one moment and gale force another. The Maserati SUV that bears its name also possesses blistering power but because of its Q4 intelligent all-wheel drive, can also maintain a refined composure, even under testing conditions. For the coming 2019 model year, the dynamism of the Levante SUV has gone up a notch with the launch in 2018 of two new variants, the Levante GTS and the Levante Trofeo, both powered by a bigger and more powerful V8 twin-turbo. The adoption of the V8 engine brings the Levante to the top of its class in terms of outright performance, driving dynamics and exclusivity. With the addition of the two V8 models, the Levante petrolpowered range now comprises of four models: Levante, Levante S, Levante GTS, and Levante Trofeo.

The Levante base model is powered by the 2,979 cc V6 twinturbo engine which produces peak-power of 350 hp at 5,750 rpm and peak-torque of 500 Nm between 1,750 and 4,750 rpm. It has a top speed of 251 kmph and 0-to-100 kmph acceleration in 6.0 seconds. Levante S has the same V6 twin-turbo as the base model but can produce 79 more units of hp for a peak-power of 424 hp at 5,750 rpm. Peak-torque of 580 Nm is achieved between 2,000 and 4,750 rpm. The top speed is 264 kmph and acceleration from 0-to-100 kmph is achieved in 5.2 seconds. Levante GTS has the new and bigger 3,799 cc V8 twinturbo capable of producing 542 hp at 6,250 rpm and 730 Nm between 2,500 and 5,000 rpm. The top speed is 292 kmph and acceleration from 0-to-100 kmph is achieved in 4.2 seconds.

The 2019 Maserati Levante GTS

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The 2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo

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The Levante Trofeo is equipped with one of the most powerful engines ever fitted in a Maserati. A 3.8-litre Twin Turbo V8 engine that has been engineered to perfectly mate with the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive System

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The 2019 Maserati Levante GTS

Levante Trofeo has the same V8 twin-turbo as the GTS but can produce 40 hp more at 6,250 rpm. Peak torque is also the same as the GTS but has the highest top speed in the model range at 304 kmph and the fastest 0-to-100 kmph acceleration at 3.9 seconds. There is also a 2,987 cc V6 turbo diesel model producing 275 hp at 4,000 rpm. It delivers the highest peak-torque in the

Levante range of 600 Nm between 2,000 and 2,600 rpm. It is capable of reaching 230 kmph and a 0-to-100 kmph acceleration in 6.9 seconds. Although the exterior receives an upgrade, particularly in the two V8 models, the distinctive coupé silhouette and overall design language remain mostly intact. The interior design of the 2019 Levante models, however, has a lot of fresh offerings.

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With the addition of the two V8 models, the Levante petrol-powered range now comprises four models: Levante, Levante S, Levante GTS, and Levante Trofeo. The interior is focused either on luxury, in the GranLusso trim, or sportiness, in the GranSport trims while the new GTS and Trofeo versions add their own signature.

The 2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo

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The interior is focused either on luxury, in the GranLusso trim, or sportiness, in the GranSport trims, while the new GTS and Trofeo versions add their own signature. All variants, however, offer abundant space for five passengers, a wide selection of premium materials, and state-of-the-art human-machine interface. The interior of the Levante GTS features Premium leather on seats, upper and lower dashboard, central armrest and on door panels with an exclusive single stitching pattern. The leather upholstery is available in black, tan, red, and beige colours. Standard equipment includes 12-way power sport front seats with memory function, power-adjustable sport steering wheel with aluminium gearshift paddles, power adjustable Inox sport pedals and velour floor mats. The Levante Trofeo interior features sculpted sport seats covered with premium full-grain Pieno Fiore natural leather available in black, red and tan, all with contrast stitching and “Trofeo” logo stitched on the headrests. Premium leather with specific stitching also covers the upper and lower dashboard and the armrest. The door panels stand out for their unique, double-stitching pattern. Other

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highlights include a new matt carbon fibre wave veneer, specific instrument cluster graphics, floor mats with metal Trofeo badges, a Maserati clock with a unique dial and a 1,280W, 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Premium Surround Sound System. The dashboard in Levante range is designed around the 8.4” Maserati Touch Control Plus (MTC+) display which in conjunction with a user-friendly rotary knob in the central console controls the infotainment system. The MTC+ is a highly responsive interface unit that works like a tablet, recognising drag, scroll, swipe and rotate gestures. The system includes radio and Bluetooth and supports satellite navigation. MTC+ also controls front seat and steering wheel heating, seat ventilation, improved A/C functions. The new Trofeo and GTS versions of the instrument panel feature specific instrument cluster graphics and clock dials. All Levante versions are now fitted with a redesigned gearshift lever which gives the driver the option to use the gearbox in either automatic or manual mode by merely shifting the lever from right to left, while a new ‘P’ button on top sets the transmission in parking mode.

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Interiors of the Maserati Levante Trofeo

The eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, also used across the range, is designed to deliver comfort, low fuel consumption, as well as reduced noise, vibration and harshness. The transmission is complemented by Maserati’s Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive System which is designed to deliver a typical Maserati rear-wheel drive experience, even in low-grip road conditions. However, when required, is capable of transferring traction to the front wheels almost instantaneously. To handle the increased power, the GTS, Trofeo, as well as the S models, now offer state-of-the-art braking with Brembo 380 mm disks in the front and 42 mm discs in the rear.

The chassis of the Levante was designed to provide high levels of rigidity, extremely low centre of gravity and an ideal 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution. The adoption of the V8 engine has resulted in kerb weight increasing by roughly 60 kg in comparison to the V6 petrol versions, but the front-rear weight distribution is still a perfect 50:50 for both new GTS and Trofeo versions. With the arrival of the new V8 models and the option to retrofit older V6 models with the new luxurious GranLusso trim, the ‘Maserati of SUVs’ looks set to build some serious momentum in the luxury SUV market in 2019.

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AUTOMOTIVE • INTERSTELLAR

INT ER S T E LLA R BMW pushes the boundaries of car designing with its one-and-only BMW Individual M850i xDrive Coupe Night Sky that recently made a debut

On the evening of January 3, 2019, when the Earth briefly passed through the orbit of the asteroid ‘2003 EH,’ the world witnessed an above-average meteor shower. This exceptional event was expected, and so BMW chose the evening to unveil an equally exceptional one-off “Stellar” version of the marque’s new luxury sports car: the BMW Individual M850i xDrive Coupe Night Sky. The keywords in the rather long title are ‘Individual’ and ‘Night Sky.’ The ‘Individual’ implies BMW’s Individual Manufaktur customisation facility in Garching near Munich which, for over 25 years, has been producing exceptionally high-quality equipment, special-edition models and some truly exceptional one-offs. All of them sporting a highly distinctive design and some of the world’s finest, most precious materials. BMW’s bespoke styling specialists have now opened up a new dimension in exclusivity by using materials that are literally out-of-this-world to bringing the night sky into the car.

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During the above-average meteor shower on the night of January 3rd, fragments from the asteroid entered our planet’s atmosphere at a rate of about 40 meteors an hour at its peak. Most of these burn up during entry, but on rare occasions, some rocks penetrate our planet’s protective shield and fall to Earth as meteorites. Some of these extra-terrestrial fragments that reached Earth from previous events have now been incorporated into the cabin of the BMW Night Sky; thus, the name. In its quest for new creative possibilities, BMW Individual frequently collaborates with renowned designers, luxury firms from other sectors, artists and scientists to help build the knowhow needed to develop new products and make exclusive oneoffs. In designing the M850i Night Sky, BMW Individual called on the expertise of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, also located in Garching. Applications made from meteoritic material, a result of the collaboration, grace the interior of the Night Sky: the whole of

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the centre console’s trim plate, the engine start-stop button, the selector lever for the eight-speed Steptronic transmission and the Touch Controller for the iDrive system. The result is a visual and tactile effect that is truly unique in the automotive sector. Inlays made from meteorite material have also been incorporated into the door sill finishers, together with an illuminated model badge. The distinctive Widmanstätten surface pattern, a geometric structure that resembles those of ice crystals, are found only on meteorites. This pattern is visible on the hand-stitched headliner, the centre console’s trim finishers, the exterior mirror caps, the front splitters for the side air intakes at the front of the car, the centre mesh plate and the surrounds for the Air Breathers on the front side panels. It has also been milled into the brake discs. The centre console armrests add a touch of brilliance. LED units are used to illuminate their surfaces, producing the effect of a star-studded sky and giving the luxury sports car’s cabin a richly atmospheric feel. BMW Individual’s fine-grain Merino

leather trim in Opal White, Midnight Blue and Silver tri-colour scheme constitute another first for interior styling. They are complemented by the deep-pile carpeting in Midnight Blue to put the finishing touches to the luxurious interior ambience. The exterior components were all specially developed and were individually manufactured for the Night Sky using a 3D printing process. The ultralight aluminium brake callipers with bionic design were also made using 3D printing methods. The brake callipers were developed by BMW Motorsport and are up to 30 per cent lighter than components produced using conventional methods. The substantial reduction in unsprung mass produces a noticeable improvement in driving dynamics and ride comfort. By employing materials that are literally out of this world coupled with innovation, BMW’s Individual Manufaktur has succeeded in producing a truly unique car with a highly original aesthetic appeal and, in the process, has pushed the boundaries of what can be achieved when designing a car interior.

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A. LANGE & SÖHNE Zeitwerk Date

SPECIALS FROM SIHH 2019 Bringing you key trends to adorn your wrist this season

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BAUME & MERCIER

BOVET 1822

Clifton Baumatic Perpetual Calendar

Tourbillon Amadéo Fleurier Virtuoso IX

CHRISTOPHE CLARET

DE GRISOGONO

Angelico

New Retro Steel 44mm

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H. MOSER & CIE.

HERMÈS

Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Cosmic Green

Arceau L’heure de la lune

VACHERON CONSTANTIN

ROGER DUBUIS Excalibur One-Off

Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar

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PANERAI

ROMAINE JEROME

Submersible Mike Horn Edition

Arraw 6919

CARTIER

ULYSSE NARDIN

Santos De Cartier

Carbonium

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FERDINAND BERTHOUD Chronomètre FB 1 – Oeuvre d’Or

Ferdinand Berthoud presents two new variants of the Chronomètre FB 1 in white gold (FB 1.1-2) and rose gold (FB 1.2-1) which also feature new decorations. The Chronomètre FB 1.1-2 combines an 18-carat white gold case with an 18-carat yellow gold dial which also features a patina created using a combination of engraving techniques. Each dial is hand-engraved and then subtly coloured to perfect the overall legibility. It is the first creation in its lineage to feature gemsetting instead of the sapphire crystal portholes that revealed the key movement components. The FB 1.2-1 is nearly identical except for the case being made of 18-carat rose gold.

For the first time, on the case-back, the FB 1 collection features a “pyramid” motif decoration adorning the entire surface of its three half-bridges. The material is cut freehand with flawless precision and regularity using a graver. The “pyramid” decoration is inspired by the base of a clock by Ferdinand Berthoud. These two new variants are five-piece limited editions. They are directly inspired by a model created by one of Ferdinand Berthoud’s students; the astronomical pocket watch No. 3 of 1806. It is now part of the L.U.CEUM collection in Fleurier.`

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IWC

JAEGERLECOULTRE

Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “Le Petit Prince”

Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel

MAURICE LACROIX

PIAGET

Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde

Altiplano

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HUBLOT Classic Fusion Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve Orlinski

Produced in collaboration with visual artist Richard Orlinski, Hublot’s creative partner since 2017, the new Classic Fusion Tourbillon features a 45mm diameter case cut out of sapphire, king gold or black ceramic and unveils ultramodern open-work architecture. The collection comprises of three

series, one for each of the three case materials, and each series is limited to 30 pieces each. This skeleton calibre breaks with tradition thanks to its wide mechanism apertures that highlight its gears and tourbillon cage, sleek matte bars with inward-pointing angles, and a power reserve displayed

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on a ring over which a hand hovers. In addition to its stylised skeletal architecture, the manufacture manual-winding movement has a fiveday power reserve while its sculptural tourbillon makes one revolution per minute. It has a transparent or black rubber strap, fitted with a deployant buckle clasp matching the case.

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HOROLOGICAL

CANDIES Richard Mille’s new Bonbon Collection, unwrapped at SIHH 2019, is a visual treat

“Bonbon - just saying the word is enough to make you smile. It manages to convey a combination of pleasure, openness and sharing all at once,” says Cécile Guenat, the Artistic Director at Richard Mille and the creative force behind the brand’s new Bonbon Collection. The Richard Mille Bonbon Collection comprises ten models, each produced in a limited edition of 30 pieces, and are based on three of the brand’s iconic models, the RM 07-03, RM 1601 and RM 37-01. The ten models are split into two lines: Fruits and Sweets. The Fruits line of the Bonbon Collection has six models: Citron (Lemon) and Fraise (Strawberry) based on the RM 16-01, Myrtille (Blueberry) and Litchi based on the RM 0703, and Kiwi and Cherry (Cerise) based on the RM 37-01. The Sweets line meanwhile has four models: Cupcake and Marshmallow based on RM 07-03, Sucette based on RM 3701, and Réglisse RM 16-01. “The idea was to revisit the existing collections while playing with colour. This allowed me to bring out a pop-inspired sense of fun. In all, we developed a palette of 60 colours for this unisex collection,” explained Cécile, who considers this collection “disruptive” because: “The multiplicity, miniaturisation and playful quality of the fruits and candies constitute a deliberate departure from classical watchmaking, as do their bright colours and stylised appearance.” The notion of a watch collection based on the theme of confectionery came unbidden to Cécile, and she elaborated: “It was quite a natural step, you see; the crown of the RM 07-01 is reminiscent of a bonbon, and so is the texture of the ceramic… For its part, the case of the RM 016 made me think of a liquorice roll-up. It was also an opportunity to revisit existing collections from a new perspective, and give them a bit of a twist, make them fun. There are 16 different sweets to discover for this collection, with a different decoration of confectionery delight unique to each piece.” Looking at the Fruits line, we are informed that a total of 3,000 tiny fruit inspired “candies” were produced to embellish the dials and crowns of the 180 watches in this line. Each piece is adorned with 8, 12, or 16 of these miniature candies that include two-millimetre liquorice rolls, two-tone twisty

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lollipops, tart jelly ribbons, a candied orange quarter covered in tart sugar crystals, other citrus segments, gumdrops, swirling gelatos, marshmallows, and barley sugars, among others. They are all machined from sheets of solid titanium, and to simulate the look and texture of ‘sugar coating,’ powdered enamel and fine sand were employed while the application was made entirely by hand. These candies are then affixed to the openwork dials whose skeletonised plates are made of grade 5 titanium, sanded and angled by hand. These mechanical components of the watch are also designed to ensure secure attachment of the inserted miniature candies. The contours of the dials have also been coloured to provide a consistent framework and to ensure complementary shades. The crowns are embellished with such delights as pink-frosted cupcakes or doughnut rolls. The bezels are carved from blocks of Carbon TPT whose black sleekness recalls the natural colour of liquorice. The cases provide a fruit note thanks to Quartz TPT, a material exclusive to Richard Mille that can potentially be rendered in just about any colour, we are told. In this collection, we have a variety of overlays in red, yellow and purple with black veining. Cécile Guenat explains that “the combination of Quartz TPT and Carbon TPT makes it possible to create nuance in some pretty flashy colours.” The alternating black and bright hues yield cases intended to resemble Neapolitan ice creams. Explaining the innovative manufacturing process behind these colourful renderings, Aurèle Vuilleumier, R&D Manager at Richard Mille said: “Every new colour is the outcome of innumerable tests. We use prepreg quartz filaments to observe interactions between the constituents and the resin. We evaluate the visual appearance after firing. A new colour takes a year of development to perfect before it can be used. Each pigment, all of which are natural, has a unique set of chemical reactions.” Through this process, Richard Mille launched a new colour for this collection, Quartz TPT Turquoise, which was created especially for the RM 07-03 Myrtille (Blueberry). The cases of the four models in the Sweets line are crafted from two-tone TZP ceramic to create a “creamy” surface in four distinct colours: the hunter green Sucette, dark blue and

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“The idea was to revisit the existing collections while playing with colour. This allowed me to bring out a pop-inspired sense of fun. In all, we developed a palette of 60 colours for this unisex collection.” Cécile Guenat, the Artistic Director at Richard Mille

RM 07-03 Automatic Lychee

sky-blue Cupcake, blush pink and yellow Réglisse, and lavender pink Marshmallow. Their dials were designed to resemble giant sweets. The dial of the Réglisse is a black chrome metal presented as a giant roll of liquorice that occupies the entire surface of a dial. The liquorice shape was obtained by a stamping operation, followed by a black chrome coating to achieve the desired colour and texture. The other three dials are produced using one of the most refined techniques employed in haute horlogerie: grand feu enamel. However, at Richard Mille, it is done a little differently. Grand feu enamel requires extremely high firing temperatures, around 800 °C and is a demanding art form on which the strength and sheen of the resulting material depends. When heated in the oven, the enamel contracts, twisting the dial plate out of alignment. To combat this, dial-makers usually resort to enamelling the reverse to balance the tension between the front and back. However, Cécile clarifies: “our grand feu enamels are produced without enamel backing. This allows us to reduce the thickness but adds yet another layer of complexity to the production process.” Furthermore, enamelwork is usually lapidated, meaning it is levelled and burnished so that the final surface does not exceed the designated height. This polishing phase rubs out the texture and flattens the surface. Here again, Cécile points out that: “Rather than lapidation, we have chosen to sand the grand feu enamel on the RM 07-03 Marshmallow in order to

preserve the volume and appearance of the material itself. This is how we achieve the fluffy quality of the marshmallow on the dial, for instance.” Other constituents of the decoration are highly polished to produce the sparkling transparency appropriate for tart sugar candies, like those on the dial of the RM 37-01 Sucette and the RM 07-03 Cupcake. Lastly, the dials of the RM 07-03 Cupcake and RM 0703 Marshmallow models are not made from one piece but combine several plates. “The six grand feu enamel plates of the Marshmallow are all created separately before they are arranged together and assembled. We made the decision not to add a border to the dial, leaving an arbitrary contour,” explained Cécile. “The layer of grand feu enamel rises to the level of the flange and indexes. This too proved to be a technical challenge.” Thus, drawing on its expertise in the area of materials, colour and form, Richard Mille offer a passage back to childhood with its Bonbon Collection; a delectable new selection of graphic, emotional and chromatic expression to be enjoyed without moderation. According to Cécile, “This collection is disruptive, elegant, daring and playful. In a word: creative! For me, it was truly an opportunity to let loose and have fun revisiting childhood. Nonetheless, it was an ambitiously daring project entailing 18 months of development, and entirely faithful to the spirit of Richard Mille, a serious brand that’s not afraid to break with tradition.”

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THE NEXT ERA OF WATCHMAKING Signé sat down with Stephen Forsey for an insightful conversation about what makes Greubel Forsey so exceptional

“As two watchmakers, we sat down, and we thought about what was missing, we thought about what we wanted to do in watchmaking, and we thought about where we could take it,” recalls Stephen Forsey, who is one-half of the eponymous Greubel Forsey partnership which, though founded in 2004, has become a highly acclaimed manufacturer of ultrahigh-end timepieces. Stephen Forsey was in Dubai recently and was kind enough to sit down with us to talk about the challenges and pleasures of creating exceptional and uncompromising timepieces. “For Robert [Greubel] and myself, it wasn’t about creating watches to create a brand. We wanted to create exceptional mechanisms. So, in terms of the exercise, the fewer the watches we make to the highest level possible, the better it is for us.” The rarefied fraternity of Haute Horlogerie has taken note of this fledgling venture and have bestowed

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accolades on it for its dedication to pushing the boundaries of mechanical timekeeping. As early as 2007, Greubel Forsey’s ‘Invention Piece 1’ received Revolution magazine’s ‘Grand Complication Watch,’ prize, while the ‘Tourbillon 24 Secondes’ received Montres Passion magazine’s ‘Special Jury Prize – Watch of the Year.’ The following year, Revolution magazine awarded the best ‘Technical Achievement’ prize for the ‘Quadruple Tourbillon.’ In 2009, Greubel Forsey won the Gaïa Prize for its entrepreneurship and the best ‘Complication Watch’ from the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie Asia. In 2011, it won the International Chronometry Competition with the ‘Double Tourbillon 30 Technique’, and at the World Watch Awards, the ‘Invention Piece 2’ was selected as the “Limited Edition Watch of the Year.” Greubel Forsey has already collected four Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève awards in its 14-year history. The first

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was in 2009 when they received the ‘Grand Complication Watch’ prize for the ‘Double Tourbillon 30° Technique.’ In 2010, they relieved the ‘Grand Prix de l’Aiguille d’Or’ for the ‘Double Tourbillon 30° Édition Historique in 5N red gold.’ In 2012, ‘Invention Piece 2’ collected its second award for the year when it was selected as the ‘Best Complicated Watch.’ The fourth GPHG award was collected last year, the ‘Mechanical Exception’ prize for their ‘Grande Sonnerie.’ Stephen seemed to exude paternal joy when elaborating on the features that made his Grande Sonnerie stand out from the few others that have been attempted to make such a complicated watch. “It is the king of complications, if you like, because it is extremely difficult to have a chime built into a wristwatch, even if it was a traditional one. But our Grande Sonnerie is not a reproduction of a traditional one,” he beamed. “We’ve worked really hard to revolutionise it, besides having a beautiful sound and


Greubel Forsey ‘Grande Sonnerie’ watch that won the ‘Mechanical Exception’ prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève last year

feel. Our Grande Sonnerie stands apart on several counts.” “The whole striking mechanism is visible, which is rare because they are usually in the back and hidden under the dial. The striking is produced by cathedral type gongs that give a rich sound. It has almost 20 hours of striking on one winding, and the winding weight only widens to strike but does not hinder the movements. Because the strike mechanism is a completely new concept, it has a separate barrel for it while there are two other barrels for the movement.” “It was vitally important for us to protect the whole mechanism, so with our Grande Sonnerie, you cannot make a mistake while winding which you can do with the traditional one. So for example, if you happen to accidentally press one of the buttons when the chime strikes, normally you’re in danger of damaging the watch. Ours has an isolation mechanism, because of which, if the crown is pulled when the watch

is striking, the mechanism cannot be damaged because it will not interfere with the striking mechanism. This feature along with the smooth and easy feel of the hand winding mechanisms add to the comfort of the collector.” “Despite the exceptional intensity of the chime and the asymmetry of the beautiful and lightweight titanium case, the watch is water resistant up to three atmospheres. We have produced 108 pieces so far, and this year we will build eight, which is a huge amount for us. It has almost a thousand components and represents something like two years of man-hours to build.” While there may be other high-end manufacturers, who produce just eight or fewer units of a model in a year, quite often it is not because of the restriction imposed by the complexity of its construction but because of a decision by the marketing department to create a sense of exclusivity. “We never build to a marketing brief,” says Stephen. “Silvan, our marketing and sales guy, he

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doesn’t come to us and say: listen guys, we need a round watch, three hands, automatic movement with date feature, fifty thousand francs or 30,000 or whatever. The ideas come from Robert and me, and today also from our team which we’re trying to build. Somebody said the definition of a brand is that it can exist once you’re no longer there. So we’re not a brand, but we’re working on it. We’re more of a signature because we make such low volumes,” says Stephen with self-deprecating laughter. The Greubel Forsey story formally begins in 2004, when Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey teamed up to launch the Anglo-French watchmaking partnership based in La Chaux-deFonds, Switzerland. Their mutual tale, however, goes further back. Robert Greubel was born in Alsace, France. As the son of a watchmaker, he would spend long hours with his father and therefore discovered his vocation and passion for precision mechanics at a very young age. Not

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surprisingly, he went on to join the family business. In 1987, he moved to Schaffhausen, Switzerland, where he joined IWC to work on their Grand Complication project. In 1990, he moved to Le Locle to work with Renaud & Papi as a prototypist. He rose up the ranks to become its Co-Chief Operating Officer and partner. It was at Renaud & Papi that the creative paths of Robert and Stephen overlapped. Stephen had moved to Switzerland in 1992 and joined Robert’s team to work on some of the most complicated mechanical movements. Stephen Forsey was born in St. Albans, England, where he inherited his father’s fascination for the intricacies of mechanics. He went on to become a specialist in antique watch restoration, and subsequently became the head of Asprey of London’s prestigious watch restoration department. He then enrolled at WOSTEP Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program – to further his horological education. Following which he moved to Renaud & Papi. In 1999, both Robert and Stephen left Renaud & Papi to work independently. “One of our driving forces was that if you go back to the seventies when the electronic watch came, it was a jump in technology and was disruptive. As a result, nearly all development of the mechanical watches ceased. So what you had was an unfinished project, an unfinished story that was kind of interrupted abruptly. But then as you move forward into the late 80s, the

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mechanical watch becomes an object that is part of our culture, our history. We have more than 500 years of mechanical timekeeping, of trying to measure time. And so, for Robert and myself, it was kind of obvious that somebody needed to pick up the story again and start to try and unravel the mysteries of mechanical time measurement and see how far we could go. And so, it was really the

essence of what we wanted to do. And we started from there.” The other reason was that “Robert and I realised that there were many beautiful or nice mechanical watches, but they were built with the objective of manufacturing in bigger volumes. The watch industry has always worked that way. Our interest was in the hand finishing and to see if we could get back to the level of expertise, skill and, what

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we felt was, the beauty of the hand finishing of the mechanism from the pre-industrial era.” “But of course, we didn’t have the resources to do it just for fun. So, we had to find a way to finance it. We thought we could build a team of maybe 20 or 30 people and, slowly over time, make a few timepieces to sell. That would then finance the development. This is what really interests us.” So, in 2001, the two co-founded a small R&D company called CompliTime with the aim of “doing subcontracted work for a handful of brands. We either developed an idea which we sold, or were contributing to projects, or working as consultants, etc., to help us generate some revenue to finance our first watch.” Even though the pair accomplished their mission of launching their own watchmaking company, CompliTime still exists today as a division within Greubel Forsey. “We wondered whether CompliTime would be able to exist after we launched our brand. When we told our clients that we were working on our watch, it was very positively received. After we had launched our first watch, they came to us, and they said: can we do something together? We actually had more business following the launch of our company. So, it was fascinating, the evolution, the surprises that we encounter through CompliTime. We still build a small number of movements, and we have a small number of projects.” The duo, thus, managed to raise enough funds to build their first timepiece, the Double Tourbillon 30° and unveiled it at Baselworld 2004.


Robert Greubel, Co-Founder of Greubel Forsey

It astounded the watch world with its revolutionary mechanism. It had two tourbillon cages set at an angle to one another and the tourbillon they encased rotating at two speeds on two separate axes. This ground-breaking timepiece established the debutants as an independent watchmaker to be reckoned with. “We came from nowhere. So one of the first questions that visitors from around the world asked us was: who built this for you. We said: nobody, we built this. Their response was: that’s not possible because nobody’s heard about it. The watch industry is a small family you know.” However, “we’d had parts made here and there but the critical parts that were the essence of the piece, we made ourselves with our team.”

Stephen Forsey, Co-Founder of Greubel Forsey

“When we launched in 2004, we had the first three watches ready to be delivered. But we didn’t know if we would have any customers. But we were convinced that what we had done was going to be interesting and valuable and so we hoped that there would be at least three collectors out there. To recover the cost of the build meant that we had to put a number on it. So we set the price for each at 380,000 Swiss francs which, back in 2004, was one of the highest valued pieces out there. But we came away from Basel with an order book of potentially 50 pieces which was incredible.” “What we realised later is that we were given an incredible opportunity because, if we had been ready in 2003, it was not a good year at Basel. There was this Asian flu outbreak, so hardly any of the Asians

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came to Basel. The year before, was also very bad being immediately after 9/11. So by launching in 2004, we had a good order book with which we could then go to the bank and say: look we’ve got this far, now can you give us some help. Because till then we’ve had to finance it ourselves with extended credit with people who had helped us to make parts, make the case, to bring the whole thing together.” The two men play perfectly complementary roles in the development process at Greubel Forsey. Robert is more concerned with design and creation, while Stephen excels more in the technical areas. The creative process involves inventing original mechanisms to improve performance, such as those featuring tourbillons, inclined double balance wheels or a mechanical

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Interiors of Greubel Forsey Workspace

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The Farm and the Atelier, Greubel Forsey Workspace

computer, and to jointly design the architecture to house the complications. “Most of the time it’s our own ideas. We have a list of things we want to develop. So we work through the list. When we started in 2004, we had ideas for ten years. Today we have ideas for almost 15 years. So even after all this time, one of our biggest challenges is that it takes time to produce.” Thus far, “we have not even built 150 pieces in total. This year Sylvian is hoping for 110,” Stephen admits with a mischievous chuckle. “Last year we managed to build 108, and in those pieces, there were eight or ten perpetual calendars which contain over 600 components. It takes more than a year of man hours to present each one of these watches.” As of today, the Greubel Forsey team consists “115 individuals. Of these, about thirty people are in R&D, design office

ten, engineers and technicians twelve, a physicist, a mathematician, six full-time watchmakers and six in the laboratory to build prototypes, test them, and refine them over time, and also to improve the earlier versions.” The whole team is housed in a unique dual-purpose setting which comprises two parts. One is a splendid 17th-century listed rural building which has been painstakingly restored. The second is a modern wood, metal, concrete and glass structure with a distinct sloping silhouette which houses the actual development and production workshops. Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey, in a way, may be likened to Enzo Ferrari. Similar to how the Scuderia chief sold sports cars to finance his passion for racing, the two watchmakers sell their timepieces, very high-end ones at that, to fund their real passion: “to try and

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unravel the mysteries of mechanical time measurement.” To further their cause, the duo has set up a project they call Mechanical Nano, which is an evolution of their Experimental Watch Technology (EWT) Laboratory. Mechanical Nano’s objective is to reduce the number of working parts inside a mechanical watch which in turn require a much smaller volume with incredibly low energy consumption. It is about “looking at the fundamentals of watchmaking,” explains Stephen. It is about “how we use the space available in the movement and how we use energy. If you distil it down, these are really the key factors, and so we have found very promising openings. To be able to increase the performance over time and to better use the energy which is available is very interesting. It’s a huge project. Watch this space.”

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THE CODE IS HERE TO STAY A closer look at Audemars Piguet’s line up of a new family of watches that dares to bring a change in the world of watches

Traditionalist collectors criticised Audemars Piguet unveiling it first in the virtual world, while loyalists criticised the brand for moving away from its Royal Oaks’ DNA, and thus, the brand’s DNA. François-Henry Bennahmias, Audemars Piguet’s Chief Executive Officer, has said that it will eventually represent 20 per cent of the brand. So, love it or hate it, it is here to stay. It is not a new watch or a collection that has evolved from existing timepieces, but a revolution. It is the addition of a completely new family of watches to Audemars Piguet’s lineup and will sit alongside Royal Oak, Offshore, and Millenary. It is called CODE 11.59. CODE is an acronym for Challenge, Own, Dare and Evolve while 11.59 stands for the final moment before the start of a new 24-hour cycle; symbolising a new beginning at Audemars Piguet. “This collection demanded new tools, skills and techniques to reach an exceptional degree of technical and aesthetic complexity. It tells about human challenges and the passionate stories of the dedicated watchmakers who dared to follow their convictions, joined forces and persevered, always pushing their own limits,” said François-Henry. CODE 11.59 consists of 13 watches based on six movements, of which, three are entirely new. All of them share the same case and glass architecture and measure 41mm in diameter. The design and structure of the case make the CODE family stand out from anything that has come before. It may best be described as an octagon sandwich. In the middle is an octagonal case, a connection to the brand’s Royal Oak heritage. Above and below the octagonal case are attached independent circular pieces. The top piece is the extra slim bezel while the bottom piece is the case back. The Bezel performs the twin function of holding down the covering glass as well as being a base for the openworked lugs. The bottom arms of the lugs

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are not fixed to the caseback but only rest against it. All of the 13 examples have cases made from either rose or white gold with a mix of brushed and polished finishes. François-Henry has, however, stated that other materials are not out of the question for future releases. The sapphire crystal of the CODE family has a unique double curve. One is on the external surface and is vertically curved with its axis running in the 6 to 12 o’clock direction. The other curve is on the inner surface and is shaped like a dome. The two curves combine to produce better clarity and legibility. In combination with the narrow bezel, the crystal makes the face of the watch appear larger. The dial features distinct Arabic numerals borrowed from a mid-century minute repeater. The other details of the dials in the family vary depending on the model. The new calibre 4302 is a self-winding 4 Hz movement with seconds and date indication. It is 4.8mm thick, comprises 257 components in total, including 32 jewels and a dedicated 22-carat gold winding rotor for improved reliability and accuracy. It has 70 hours of guaranteed power reserve. This calibre powers four ‘Automatic’ models. Three of them have a red gold case, two of which, have black dials and one has a white dial. The fourth one has a white gold case with blue dial. These three-hand models each have a multi-layered lacquered dial. Below 12 o’clock is the three-dimensional gold logo produced using a process known as galvanic growth. The process by which the logo was attached to the dial took two years to perfect according to François-Henry. The second new calibre 4401 chronograph delivers what enthusiasts of the brand have been demanding for years. The fully integrated, self-winding flyback function allows the chronograph to be re-started without having to stop-andreset it first. Gold threads circle the chronograph counters,

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and the V angles are polished. This calibre powers four ‘Selfwinding Chronograph’ models. The four come in the same combination as in the previous set: three have red gold cases, two with black dials and one with a white dial. The fourth is again a white gold case with blue dial combination. Calibre 2950 is the third of the new calibres from Audemars Piguet’s first self-winding flying tourbillon with a central rotor. It is comprised of 270 components, 27 of which are jewels and has a 65-hour power reserve and runs at 3 Hz. The movement can be admired through an openworked rotor and the caseback. The components of the Calibre 2950 echo the colour of the case. It powers two ‘Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon’ models. One has a white gold case with smoked blue enamel dial. The other has a red gold case with a black enamel dial. In both cases, the dial is covered with “Grand Feu” enamel and enhanced by white or pink gold (case matching) applied hour-markers and hands. The Perpetual Calendar has a red gold case and aventurine glass dial and subdials. The latter, which produces a glittering night-sky effect is obtained by introducing black copper oxide and cobalt during the cooling phase of molten glass. The pink gold case, hands and applied hour-markers dramatically contrast the deep blue tones of the dial. The watch is powered by the self-winding calibre 5134. It beats at a frequency of 2.75 Hz, has an openworked weight in 22-carat gold and a power reserve of 40 hours. It can

automatically adjust for short months and adds a day to February each leap year. The Tourbillon Openworked model has the 3 Hz calibre 2948 unique hand-wound tourbillon openworked movement at its core. The contrast between the red gold case and the dark openworked mainplate and bridges emphasise its depth. The 4.97 mm thick movement has 70 hand-polished V angles. The Minute Repeater Supersonnerie, powered by Calibre 2953, features patented gongs that are complemented by the watch’s case construction and striking regulator. The performant gongs are attached to a new device acting as a soundboard for improved sound transmission. The striking regulator has been redesigned to eliminate unwanted noise. The white gold case is matched by white gold hands, applied indexes and numerals on the smoked blue enamel dial. The caseback features a soundwave design alluding to the watches acoustics abilities. The CODE 11.59 family is, without a doubt, distinctive. Like the Royal Oaks before, it has its share of critics. The brand, however, is confident it will succeed. Given the unorthodox launch strategy and the fresh design language of the family, is it possible that Audemars Piguet is eyeing a new generation of loyalists? “Faithful to our legacy, we continue to evolve by preserving and rewriting traditions. 11.59 is ahead of the game,” said Jasmine Audemars, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors.

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THE EVOLUTION OF A HERITAGE Signe met with Vincent Montalescot, Montblanc’s Executive Vice-President of Marketing at SIHH to find out how the brand is evolving to meet the challenges of an evolving market place.

Evolution seems to be the buzzword at Montblanc these days. An evolution in approach, in technology, and even in the image of the brand. An evolution designed to attract a younger generation of connoisseurs with new designs and products while keeping the seasoned collectors wanting more. One of the fresh faces brought into Montblanc to manage this evolution is Vincent Montalescot, who spent seventeen years at marketing juggernaut Adidas, including his final two years as SVP Global Brand Strategy. He Joined Montblanc in 2017, as the Executive Vice-President of Marketing. “I would say it has been an amazing journey so far. I started a little over a year ago, and I am still discovering the brand and the industry. But it has been with a lot of pleasure, and I saw from day one a lot of opportunities because our CEO and the entire organisation is ready to undergo an evolution,” said Vincent during a chat with Signe at the Montblanc’s booth at this year’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. “Coming from a different sector, I need to accept the fact that I had to listen to people inside the organisation and learn from them, to learn about the industry,” Vincent added. “Montblanc has a lot of history, and therefore, has an amazing archive. So I am on a learning curve. Every day I learn something new. I enjoy what I am doing here, and I particularly enjoy the craftsmanship that was not present in my former company. On the other hand, the distribution model at Montblanc is very close to what you have in the sports industry. The rapport between wholesalers, retailers and online is very similar.”

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Since his arrival, Vincent has played an instrumental role in two of Montblanc’s campaigns in 2018, both of which sought to reach out to a younger audience: “What’s on your list” and “Stay ahead.” Vincent shared with us Montblanc’s approach to developing new products and new marketing strategies for the digital age: “Without a doubt, we need to target a younger audience because they are the future. However, we should never forget our current customers. The good news is that even though sometimes people perceive Montblanc as an old brand, and it is in fact 112 years old, we are able to get access to a vast audience because we have products targeting the younger generations, while also having products specifically for the collectors. As far as communication is concerned, we are not trying to target customers based on an age range, but more based on the mindset of our customers.” “The good news for us is that we are pretty audacious as an organisation. Since joining, I have been looking at the archives, and I noticed that Montblanc had three founders with a typical startup mindset; looking abroad for opportunities, beyond their home market. And that is still today the mindset at Montblanc.” “We have our core business: watches, writing and leather and we have four manufacturers for these core businesses, which shows that when we decide to enter a segment, we really go deep into it, in order to become a real player. It doesn’t mean we are not looking at new areas. The digital world is growing, and we are asking ourselves what can we bring to the

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Vincent Montalescot, Executive Vice-President of Marketing at Montblanc

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Watch from the Heritage collection revealed at SIHH 2019 94

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table while staying true to the Montblanc ethos. That is how we decided to launch the augmented paper, followed by the smartwatches, Summit 1 and 2. It is not a contest. It is about trying to understand the day to day needs of our customers and then responding to that in the Montblanc way.” “From a brand point of view, we are in a transition phase, so it is fundamental that we define who we are. Only then will be able to connect with our customers more efficiently. Which is why, in the last 12 months, we spent time researching our archives; to define our brand identity. Montblanc is not in the fashion industry. When we create a line or a collection, it needs to last for years. The Meisterstuck or Strarwalker have been in the market for years, and they are still well received, which shows the strong sustainability of our products. So, as a brand, we have good stories to tell, we have robust products, now the question is how do we bring that to market and offer it as an experience to our customer.” “Our booth at SIHH is a good example. The brief for our booth decoration was: make it different. The product is the 1858 line, that is obvious, now what is the experience connected to it? So, I wanted to create a booth that delivers a real emotion to the person walking in, and this year the collection was all about nature and adventure, and that is what I wanted to recreate in the booth. Our general message is to reconnect with nature, taking the time for ourselves once in a while, getting away from our busy schedules to recharge.” Montblanc’s space at SIHH, dedicated to “the wonder and beauty of the great outdoors,” was like stepping outdoors, taking a stroll through luscious greenery and breathtaking mountain vistas and valleys. The design of the booth combined natural woods, plants and rocks to evoke the beauty of mountain landscapes.

Against this natural backdrop, were introduced Montblanc’s latest timepieces, appropriately attired in elegant khaki green and bronze. They were displayed in wood and glass cases around the space. The samples exhibited included TimeWalker, Star Legacy, Heritage and the new 1858 timepieces inspired by the legendary professional Minerva watches from the 1920s and 1930s conceived for military use and exploration. One of the walls was dedicated to a timeline illustration of the significant milestones in the history of the Minerva manufacture founded by Charles-Ivan Robert in 1858 as a manufacturer of pocket watches. It went on to gain international recognition for its precision timepieces and as a specialist in the manufacture of professional watches and stopwatches. In addition to charting the evolution of classical watchmaking, the timeline also highlights key milestones in the spirit of mountain exploration as well as the spirit of racing, and the role Minerva played in each of those. Breaking with tradition this year, Montblanc donated funds to the Research Center For Alpine Ecosystems rather than gifting it as Montblanc’s giveaways to guests. The money was donated to “Mont-Blanc Observatory: a base camp for science”, a project that develops a training centre for teaching decisionmakers, mountain professionals and business leaders about the impact of climate change on the alpine ecosystems. “This year we showed you a novelty, a heritage watch collection in a brand new collection. It is a beautiful product, and it is a good example of what we can bring to the market,” beamed Vincent, surrounded by the fruits of his creative efforts. When asked what can we expect in the coming days from an evolving Montblanc, he was elusive. “For sure there will be surprises,” he said, “but I cannot share details with you right now. I can tell you that we will have a couple of collaborations that will surprise you.”

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ART & DESIGN • THE ENCHANTED ROOM

THE ENCHANTED ROOM

‘Chandelier of Grief’ by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, on display at Swarovski Kristallwelten, is a marvellous piece of creativity that transports the visitors to a world of illusion Imagine being in a dark three-dimensional space in which a stunning Swarovski crystal chandelier illuminates and infinitely replicates itself in every direction. This fantasylike world is a material reality made of glittering light and mirrors, and which is capable of transporting the observer into the ethereal. It is called the ‘Chandelier of Grief,’ and it is the result of a collaboration between the world’s most renowned manufacturer of crystals with one of the most gifted contemporary artists of today. The artist is Yayoi Kusama, whose large-scale solo shows in Mexico City, Rio, Seoul, Taiwan and Chile have attracted more than 5 million visitors over the past few years. The Broad Museum in Los Angeles recently sold 90,000 tickets to her show in a single afternoon. The David Zwirner Gallery in New York restricted the length of a visit to the Kusama installation to 45 seconds. Similarly, visitors to the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, DC waited in lines surrounding the museum for two hours, because of which they had to impose a time limit of just 30 seconds per visitor. Kusama’s art has given rise to a selfie trend that does not appear to be slowing down any time soon. Thousands of visitors have taken pictures of themselves in Kusama’s world of wonder, mostly sharing these moments under the hashtags #YayoiKusama and #InfiniteKusama. The artist has expressed her approval of these media interactions, and she sees them as a kind of infinite extension in the digital air. Over the years she has also collaborated with several leading luxury brands. Kusama was born in 1929 in Japan. She studied in Kyoto and at the Art Students’ League in New York. Between 1958 and 1972, she worked mainly in New York and was very much a part of the youth movements of that time. In that period, she distinguished herself because of her trademark polka dots motif; colourful circles painted on canvases, sculptures and people. In 1977, Kusama returned to Japan where she voluntarily admitted herself to a psychiatric clinic in her fight to overcome severe depression. She continues to live in the clinic today. She wakes up early every day and leaves the clinic to go to her studio, located across the street, so that she can dedicate herself to her art. In one of her very rare interviews, she

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revealed that this is the only routine which allows her to create art and she credits it with saving her life. Kusama has also been researching and optimising mirrored spaces since 1965 which resulted in the immersive installation series called “Infinity Mirror Rooms;” a space format with walls covered in mirrors and arranged in a multitude of different ways to reflect the floor and ceiling endlessly. This concept has undergone continuous development over the years to produce many spectacular visual treats. These ‘Infinity Mirror Rooms’ have been the most attractive of Kusama’s creations. All of her exhibits are temporary except for those at her gallery in Tokyo which opened in 2017. Now Swarovski Kristallwelten, or Crystal Worlds, has unveiled the only other permanent installation of Kusama’s ‘Infinity Mirror Room,’ a piece titled the ‘Chandelier of Grief’. It is the 17th addition to the ‘Chamber of Wonder’ at Kristallwelten in Wattens Austria. The central element of ‘Chandelier of Grief’ is a rotating chandelier of Swarovski crystal, whose lustre comes to life in a room that is completely lined with mirrors. The installation can be visited year-round. “When we promise visitors to the Swarovski Kristallwelten that they will experience ‘Temporary Enchantment,’ this new Chamber of Wonder is one step closer to making it a reality, and it does this in a very special way,” as Stefan Isser, the managing director of D. Swarovski Tourism Services GmbH, delightfully notes. “The new Chamber of Wonder with Kusama’s Infinity Room ‘Chandelier of Grief’ invites visitors to pause for a moment and at the same time creates the illusion of being in an endless space. This sensual and spatial experience has an almost transcendental effect. So, I am all the more pleased that our visitors will be able to enjoy this experience for an unlimited time,” adds Carla Rumler, Cultural Director at Swarovski. The Swarovski Kristallwelten is a grand, multi-sensory experience of crystal in all its facets spread across more than 7.5 hectares of indoor and outdoor space. It is located at the home of Swarovski in Wattens, in the Tyrol region of Austria. It opened in 1995 to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary. In its 23 years of existence, this unique destination has attracted more than 14 million visitors making it the second most visited site in Austria.

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‘Chandelier of Grief’ at Swarovski Kristallwelten SIGNÉ • EDITION 33

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ART & DESIGN • SECRETS TO A 100-YEAR-OLD ENTERPRISE

SECRETS TO A 100-YEAR-OLD ENTERPRISE Signé met the young and dynamic Ujjwal Goel, the Managing Director of Teraciel Group, to learn what makes him tick

“The brick walls are there to show you how badly you want something,” Ujjwal Goel often likes to state as a reminder, especially in challenging times. It seems to have paid dividends given that the 26-year-old has already accumulated an impressive list of accomplishments in a very short period and has shown exceptional foresight to make his family-owned business futureready. “I take a lot of pride in what we’ve created. We’ve faced many challenges, but in the four years that we’ve been here in Dubai, we’ve built a company worth more than half-a-billion-dollars. It began with me as a one-man operation to today having over 100 staff members,” Ujjwal Goel, the Managing Director of Teraciel Group, confided with Signé in an exclusive interview. He leads the Teraciel Group’s operation in Dubai, the region, and in Africa. He is also involved in the company’s strategic management in its home territory of India. The group consists of five divisions. La Sorogeeka interiors, the founding entity, offers turn-key services that include engineering, project management, manufacturing and procurement. Over the past three decades, it has grown in size and stature to become one of the largest, and most renowned luxury interior companies in the Indian subcontinent and Southern Africa with a diverse portfolio of clients in such sectors as luxury hotels, palaces, airports, corporate towers and convention centres. La Sorogeeka Associates, meanwhile, is the consulting division offering bespoke interior design solutions. Anca (pronounced unk’a) is the group’s furniture brand and manufacturer. It also handles all the artwork and semi-precious materials. “We have a catalogue-based production and sell a lot of our products through retail. We generally launch two collections each year which are semi-customizable in terms of fabric, colour, wood, sizes and so on. We also have bespoke designs that are custom built for particular projects,” explains Ujjwal.

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Furniture from Anca, Teraciel group’s furniture brand and manufacturer

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ART & DESIGN • SECRETS TO A 100-YEAR-OLD ENTERPRISE

Interior products selection from Anca, Teracial Group

The Teraciel Marble Industries is a recent addition based in the UAE and offers an exclusive selection of high-quality stone and associated craftsmanship. It was set up because Ujjwal wanted to control the cost, quality and delivery time of this important element of a project. Teraciel Engineering and Contracting division was also added for similar reasons. “The contractors that we were working with were sometimes not capable of providing the quality we needed, especially when it came to high-value projects such as palaces. So we said we should do this ourselves.” “Each division is an independent profit centre with independent teams and with different managers while some core support functions like marketing or auditing are handled at the group level. The idea behind making them independent, even though there are obvious overlapping interests, was to make the business vertically sustainable, to be able to offer turnkey solutions and to ensure efficiency within each business.” The group has grown geographically as well: “We have developed a very elite clientele among the royal families here as well as the royal family in Saudi Arabia which includes projects for King Salman and Mohammed bin Salman. We have established an office in Mumbai to oversee our Ritz-Carlton project. We also have offices in Equatorial Guinea and Swaziland.”

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These achievements are quite impressive when one considers the rather humble beginnings of the company back in 1985 when Ujjwal’s parents founded La Sorogeeka Design and Engineering in New Delhi. “We come from a business family, and we’ve always been in business, so my parents were thinking let’s start something. They were recently married, and my mother had some experience in design. An opportunity arose when my grandfather was constructing some buildings, and he asked my mother to design the furniture. My dad hired a few carpenters and started manufacturing with one workshop in a small alley. That’s how it started, very organically.” “When people visited the project, they liked the quality of the work which led to more orders. Our business has grown every year since just through word of mouth. The other quality that defines us is our customer service. Once we commit to a project, we don’t look at the financials, we want to deliver a product or service that our client will remember us for. And that’s what really separates us from the rest. Some of our clients have been with us for 35 years.” This is the world to which Ujjwal was born and raised in. “People might say I have four years of experience in the industry,

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Furniture from Anca, Teraciel group’s furniture brand and manufacturer

but in reality, I have 25 years of experience since I practically grew up in our factory.” Ujjwal left the comforts of home for Singapore, to complete his high school education. Then he headed to the University of Southern California for undergraduate studies in BBA and Construction Engineering which he concluded in 2014. In the midst of his undergraduate studies, Ujjwal studied Strategic Management at the London School of Economics, London and International Business at the ESADE Business School, Barcelona. “I was always a bright student and was very confident of my capabilities.” However, when the well-travelled, and well educated Ujjwal returned home, brimming with new ideas to implement in his family business, he quickly learnt another important lesson: change is not easy to implement. “My parents said theoretically we understand whatever you’re saying but since this is a machine that has been working well for 30 years and we’ve only grown, so let us not make so many changes so quickly that we break this machine.” “I felt very frustrated and thought: what’s the point of all of this education if I can’t apply it. So, I moved to Dubai to do some African mining related trading at DMCC. But the market crashed, and the people that I was dealing with wanted to exit from the industry. I was left out in the open. I needed something new to do, something which I was familiar with. So, I got our furniture catalogues and, for about a year and a half, went from door to door liaising with designers and architects.” “I soon found a lot of local clients but often found their sites were not ready for the furniture. They would ask me for help in getting the job done. I gathered a few small companies, like my

dad did back in the day, and took the help from our engineering team in India. I was doing this even though I didn’t have a contract for it. I was doing it on a personal level.” “Today, I’ve built something which is larger than what my parents have built in a very short span of time. They are now definitely a lot more supportive and have a lot more confidence in me being able to change our business in India. So, I have again involved myself in our business in India over the last couple of years.” Now that Ujjwal has a greater say in shaping the future of the group, he has turned to Ray Dalio, the American billionaire investor and his book Principles for inspiration. “We are moving towards what is called Radical Transparency, where anything and everything that is felt in an organisation should be said, and there should be nothing unsaid. That is what I want to develop at this point,” says Ujjwal. To achieve this, “I’m am trying to inculcate principlebased decision making within the organisation by personally developing a set of principles which I would run this business on. Then I am going to publish them throughout the company so that everyone has access to them. Then on, every decision that has to be made, must be based on those principles. We are also moving more towards corporate governance where, instead of me being the lone decision maker, we’re setting up committees for every department or for certain decisions such as risk analysis, audit or financials. These committees will make their decisions based on the principles which I have set out. The ultimate goal is that, at some point, the decision making should be independent of me. I want to build a 100-year company.”

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ART & DESIGN • RUE DE COCO

RUE DE COCO Chanel’s four-storey Boutique at 19 rue Cambon opens its doors to showcase the entire Chanel universe

Every brand has a story to tell, and every brand has a spiritual home. Maison Chanel’s story began on February 7th, 1918, when Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel acquired 31 rue Cambon, located in one of the most fashionable districts of Paris. It was her first acquisition. It was where Gabrielle Chanel became a registered couturière. It was where Chanel became a maison. It is where Coco Chanel revolutionised women’s fashion. Rue Cambon is the spiritual home of Chanel. Now, the maison welcomes a boutique at number 19 rue Cambon. Three restored and transformed historic buildings have been combined to create 1,000 square metres of floor space, to showcase the entire Chanel universe under one roof: Ready-to-wear, accessories, watches and fine jewellery, perfume and beauty. With the acquisition and opening of the new boutique, Chanel now owns rue Cambon’s 19, 23, 25, 27 29 and 31 addresses. Gabrielle Chanel’s first acquisition at 31 rue Cambon was a four-storeyed building that was initially built as a townhouse at the end of the 18th century. It had an opening with a porch and a façade pierced by five asymmetric windows. Gabrielle entrusted Louis FaureDujarric, known for constructing the centre court at Roland-Garros among others, to redesign the building. Gabrielle’s taste for modern and graphic aesthetic meant the Art Deco was her natural choice. She straightened the attics on the 4th floor and asked architect Pierre Figarol to add a fifth floor. On the ground floor was the boutique and the famous Art Deco mirrored staircase leading up to the Haute Couture salons on the first floor. Mademoiselle Chanel’s private apartment on the second, the studio on the third, and the Haute Couture ateliers on the fourth and fifth floors. 31 rue Cambon, thus, became the epicentre of the Chanel universe. It was here that Gabrielle revolutionised fashion, both haute couture and everyday prêt-à-porter, by replacing corset and the bodice based structured-silhouettes with garments that were functional and at the same time flattering to the woman’s figure. She once said: “Fashion

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ART & DESIGN • RUE DE COCO

Chanel’s Boutique at 19 rue Cambon 104

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has become a joke. The designers have forgotten that there are women inside the dresses. Most women dress for men and want to be admired. But they must also be able to move, to get into a car without bursting their seams! Clothes must have a natural shape.” With success came the expansion of the maison: number 29 rue Cambon was acquired in April 1923, number 25 in April 1926, and numbers 27 and 23 in October 1927. These acquisitions were no small feat given that rue Cambon had privileged surroundings even back then. Now, the boutique at number 19 adds to this remarkable ensemble. It was created by joining the main building, an 18thcentury “Élément pittoresque de la Ville de Paris” listed façade on the rue Saint-Honoré, with an adjacent former 17th-century convent on rue Cambon and a smaller structure on rue Duphot. The different architectural styles of the three buildings, the numerous structures and frameworks, along with the differences in the heights and foundations of the three buildings had to be streamlined by architect Peter Marino in accordance with L’Architecte des Bâtiments de France to ensure that the history of these buildings were respected and preserved as best as possible. The exterior of the new boutique is Oise stone while the interior features limestone, stucco, blond parquet, khaki woodwork, enamelled gold-textured plasterwork and metallic fabrics. The entire space is bathed in natural light which is complemented by the use of white and three shades of beige, accompanied by black, gold and metallic notes. Gabrielle Chanel was a fervent patron of the arts and artists. Among her close circle of friends were the likes of Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky, Serge Diaghilev, Luchino Visconti, Jean Cocteau, and Pierre Reverdy, among others. Her apartment was, not surprisingly, home to many pieces of both contemporary and historical art. Every Chanel boutique since, no matter where it is located, reserves a special place for art, and for contemporary artists.

From the entrance to the reception rooms, the boutique at 19 rue Cambon presents 28 artworks by 20 different artists, selected by Peter Marino. Among the standout pieces is the specially commissioned Große Treppe (Great Staircase) by Gregor Hildebrandt. Present on four floors from the ground floor up, it stretches for almost 14 meters and is made of cut vinyl records, steel and fabric. Other commissioned pieces include the sculpture Odore di Femmina-Torso Plugs by Johan Creten, two Camellia collages by Peter Dayton and a large panel painted by Martin Kline. The main entrance on the ground floor, via rue Saint-Honoré, opens onto the shoe, leather goods and accessory collections. The second entrance on rue Duphot leads into the beauty space, home to all the House perfumes in an alcove salon imagined like a cabinet of curiosities, while the make-up and skincare are deployed over the wall in a graphic orchestration of black, white and mirrors. A majestic staircase in limestone has been fully restored, and its walls are swathed in juxtaposing mirrors echoing the legendary staircase at 31 rue Cambon. There is also an elevator featuring black, ivory and metallic woven metal. The first floor is lengthened by a terrace overlooking the enclosed garden. The white and grey armchairs and the tall chairs in tweed are an invitation to enjoy the space in a relaxed ambience while browsing through the latest bags, small leather goods, costume jewellery and other accessories. On the second floor are displayed the Ready-to-Wear, Cruise, Métiers d’art, Coco Neige and Chanel’s Coco Beach collections. The 3rd and 4th levels are reserved for reception rooms covering a total floor space of 500 square metres. Chanel’s new 19 rue Cambon is a genuine link between the maison’s past, present and future. As it is “immersed with the House’s values of excellence, it gives the impression of following in the footsteps of its founder and taking the creative paths established by Karl Lagerfeld.”

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ART & DESIGN

THE COLOUR OF HAPPINESS Pantone has announced their Colour of the Year for 2019, and it is a happy one

For the past 20 years, Pantone’s Colour of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries such as fashion, home furnishings, industrial and graphic design. For 2019, Pantone 16-1546 or ‘Living Coral’ has been chosen as the colour of the year. Living Coral, a colour of carefree happiness, is a bright coral shade that falls somewhere in between pink and orange. Pantone describes it as “an animated, life-affirming shade of orange, with golden undertones” which “symbolises our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits.” “Colour enhances and influences the way we experience life,” said Laurie Pressman, Vice-President of the Pantone Colour Institute. “As a shade that affirms life through a dual role of energising and nourishing, Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral reinforces how colours can embody our collective experience and reflect what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time.” The colour of the year is the result of an exhaustive yearlong investigation by colour experts at the Pantone Colour Institute; a business unit within Pantone that highlights top seasonal runway colours, forecasts global colour trends and advises companies on colour for product and brand visual identity. The institute’s “global team of colour experts comb the world looking for new colour influences,” said Pressman. “This can include the entertainment industry and films in production, travelling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles and socio-

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economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures and effects that impact colour, relevant social media platforms and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.” The Institute, in particular, pays attention to colours that appear in the campaigns of prominent brands. In the case of Living Coral, Pantone has pointed to Airbnb and Apple’s use of coral in 2018 as a sign of the colour’s growing domination. To promote Living Coral and its complementary palette, Pantone has partnered with Tribute Portfolio, a Marriott subsidiary that manages a group of independent hotels, to launch a pop-up pantry at Art Basel Miami to allow people to experience an immersive tribute to colour at select hotels around the world. Other pop-ups will follow in indie-spirited and creative communities around the world, and each of these will be a whimsical journey of character, colour, and captivating design that reflects the character and personality of its host city. There will also be collaborations with a series of artists and influencers to create travel-inspired, artful installations using different mediums. To promote Living Coral among creatives and designers, Pantone has partnered with Material ConneXion and Adobe Stock. Material ConneXion is a global materials and innovation consultancy who have worked to make it easier for suppliers and designers to source Living Coral in product design. Adobe Stock is an Adobe service that provides designers and businesses with access to 45 million highquality, curated, royalty-free photos, videos, illustrations, and vector graphics, have curated a group of Living Coralcoloured images for their customers.

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A REAL-WORLD REVOLUTION Technogym’s Skillbike is a benchmark setting fitness bike that mimics the real deal at every level The Skillbike by Technogym, a world leader in fitness and wellness products, services and digital technologies, is a state-of-the-art stationary bike that, for the first time, has real gears, real gear shifts and has the ability to replicate realworld gradient induced challenges. It enables cyclists, triathletes and cycling enthusiasts to realistically replicate the challenges of outdoor experiences in an indoor environment. As with any Technogym product, the Skillbike is loaded with patented or patentpending technology specifically designed for athletic and performance training that allows it to be a notch above its competitors. First on the list is the ‘Real Gear Shift’ patented technology that enables users to replicate the dynamics of hill riding. By shifting gears, riders can counter changes in resistance to maintain the correct power and cadence for maximum efficiency, while the console displays the gear ratio selections in real time. Real Gear Shift, in turn, enables the unique Multidrive Technology (patent pending) that allows riders to switch from power-based training routines to hill climbing simulations. The Road Effect is another ingenious system that simulates the feeling of riding outdoor by reading the riders pedalling style and performance parameters. The Pedal Printing system offers feedback on the circularity and symmetry of the rider at different gear ratios to monitor and increase or decrease in efficiency. The frame and handlebar are shaped

to seamlessly accommodate different riding positions such as road, time trial and mountain bike. Furthermore, it is a digital and fully interactive product with an integrated 7-inch colour LCD connected console that provides all of the relevant performance data with real-time feedback such as cadence, watts, speed, distance, gradient, heart rate, selected gear and gear ratio. Skillbike enables a wide range of training programs, targeted routines and routes to accomplish individual goals and performance tests in order to evaluate threshold power and choose the best training level for any given rider. The integrated Strava, Garmin and Zwift systems ensure that the rider is on track with his or her individual goals. Skillbike is also ideal for small group training sessions on the gym floor or in a

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studio environment where trainers can offer two different yet equally engaging class experiences: Race and Performance. Technogym was founded in 1983 by Nerio Alessandri to combine his design skills with his passion for sports and physical exercise. Today, Technogym is a global leader in the Wellness and Fitness industry. It provides a complete range of cardio, strength and functional equipment alongside a digital cloud-based platform allowing consumers to connect with their personal wellness experience anywhere, both on the equipment and via mobile when outdoors. Technogym was the official supplier for the last seven editions of the Olympic Games, including the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

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OBJECTS OF DESIRE

ZEPPELIN WIRELESS BY

BOWERS & WILKINS This speaker is designed as a complete wireless hifi system for the home which combines effortless connectivity with “best-in-class” acoustic. The speaker’s cabinet is reinforced with glass fibre ribs, for reduced vibrations and transparent acoustics. Its 150mm subwoofer uses an ultra-long-throw voice coil for deep controlled bass even at high volumes. It uses FST™ drive units for a clean, precise midrange while powerful digital signal processing tools preserve more of the subtle details in the music. The speaker works seamlessly with music services and apps such as Spotify, AppleMusic and Soundcloud, among others.

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Axis Double Watch Winder by Wolf Designed to be as intricate as the timepieces it encases, it features custom copper metal plating, micro suede interior, locking glass cover, backlit LCD, copper finished hardware, storage for one watch with elevated cuff, two medium compartments, a travel case and two winding modules. The winder can be set to run clockwise, counter-clockwise and bi-directional, and counts rotations instead of using time to estimate the counts per day which can be set between 300 and 1200 TDP. The start delay range is six and 72 hours. Axis can run on AC power or D-Cell/Lithium batteries and is covered by a 2-year warranty.

Nanopresso by Wacaco The Nanopresso is a portable, compact, and durable espresso maker that does not require electricity to produce espresso shots topped with cafe-quality crema. Finely ground coffee, hot water, and muscle power to prime its manual pump capable of producing 18 bars of internal pressure, are the only ingredients required. It weighs under 336 grams and is 156mm in height with an outdoor-adventure lifestyle compatible design. After each shot, Nanopresso maintenance takes only few seconds. When necessary, every component of the portafilter is easily separated for deep cleaning. Available in black and a choice of other colours such as yellow and red, or specialedition colours.

MW07 by Master&dynamic

Backgammon Set by L’objet This set expresses the more playful side of L’OBJET, founded by Elad Yifrach in 2004, as a spirited homage to the great artisans of the Mediterranean region. It features a thoughtful combination of fine textures and finishes with materials such as lacquered Macassar ebony wood, marble, brass and shell inlay. The chips are composed of shell and resin with a brass trim and resemble beautiful jewels. Presented in a luxury gift box, the game is exquisitely designed and crafted as a decor item for the desk as well. Its outer dimensions in centimetres are 55L x 43W x 8H.

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MW07 are true wireless earphones that are designed to look as good as they sound. Covered in Beautifully Handcrafted Acetate, it has an eyecatching and durable finish, with a lightweight, slim design. Custom-made 10mm high-performance Beryllium drivers deliver rich, expansive sound. Advanced antenna with quick-pairing technology and the 20-plus meter range of Bluetooth 4.2 deliver “best-in-class” connectivity. Silicone “Fit Wings”, proprietary technical innovation, are available in two detachable sizes for a custom and extra secure in-ear fit. Hand-polished stainless-steel charging case facilitates compact portability and holds three additional charges for a total of 14 hours of listening time.

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L A D O L C E V I TA • R E S TA U R A N T S

LIFE IMITATING [CULINARY] ART Gordon Ramsay opens the world’s second HELL’S KITCHEN Restaurant in Dubai

In a case of life imitating art, or reality television in this case, Gordon Ramsay’s HELL’S KITCHEN restaurant makes its fiery debut in Dubai at the brand-new Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai. It is the first-of-its-kind in the Middle East and just the second global venue after Las Vegas and serves the same world-class cooking that made the original a runaway success when it launched in January 2018. The dynamic and bustling kitchen is the centrepiece of this unique eatery that can be enjoyed and appreciated from every seat in the house. With a nod to the red and blue teams featured on the show, the chefs and cooks are kitted out in the exact Hell’s Kitchen show uniforms, red and blue jackets with matching bandanas. The jacket colours showcase which team member prepares

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what; the blue team work on cold starters and desserts, while the reds prepare the hot starters and main dishes. In charge of the whole drama is Head Chef Craig Best, under the guidance of Christina Wilson, winner of Hell’s Kitchen Season 10 and Executive Chef of Gordon Ramsay Restaurant Group. HELL’S KITCHEN signatures include Pan Seared Scallops,

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Lobster Risotto, Beef Wellington and Sticky Toffee Pudding that sit alongside dishes created exclusively for the new destination restaurant. Interior flourishes such as the signature fiery pitchfork and the iconic “H” as well as custom-designed, laser cut screen partitions featuring the pitchfork symbols, gold monogram wallpaper, the perfectly identical plating to make each dish look just the same as on the television and stamped cutlery sourced directly from Las Vegas make guests feel as if they are part of the hit series.

HELL’S KITCHEN Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai hellskitchen@caesarsdubai.ae +9714 556 6466


PAN ASIAN AT ITS BEST The newly opened Matagi brings you the finest of Asian flavours

Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai set on the western crescent of the Palm Jumeirah, represents an architectural masterpiece that pays homage to the palaces of 18th century Europe. From the grand atrium shimmering with gold leaf and a montage of mirrors, to the generous rooms accentuated by intricate handcrafted details, it exudes a sense of magnificence at every turn. The hotel has recently added a new culinary jewel to its list of opulent offerings: Matagi, a Pan Asian restaurant. The fruit of hospitality visionaries Atelier EPJ, the restaurant explores the breadth of the Pan-Asian region, drawing inspiration from Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines to serve an elegant, yet eclectic Asian dining experience.

Matagi’s interior has been designed to exude opulence but with a sense of calm and serenity, an intrinsic part of Asian culture. The result is a warm and comfortable interior, highlighted by the repetitive use of Asian titles, unique artefacts, burnished earths and metallics, a dramatic show-kitchen and the antique wooden bar counter.

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The meals, designed to be shared, commence with world-class varieties of sushi and sashimi, salads and small plates, each prepared using the freshest local ingredients. Mains include a number of signature dishes, including large plates, Clay Pots, noodles, and steaks. It concludes with an exquisite edit of desserts, recalling the most decadent of Asian sweets. The beverage program, anchored around the dedicated bar area, adds a touch of modern theatre to Matagi, with a bold range of Asian spirits such as sakes and shochus as well as re-imagined classic cocktails.

MATAGI Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai Crescent West, Palm Jumeirah reservation@matagidubai.com +9714 248 8850

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L A D O L C E V I TA • A G A S T R O N O M I C J O U R N E Y PA R E X T R A O R D I N A I R E

A GASTRONOMIC JOURNEY PAR EXTRAORDINAIRE Trèsind, at the Nassima Royal Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, offers a multi-sensory culinary experience like no other

Blending the finest Indian ingredients with progressive culinary techniques, Tresind takes you on a gastronomic ride. Trèsind, the multiaward winning and critically acclaimed modernist Indian fine-dining restaurant, is located on the second floor of the Nassima Royal Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road. As per Bhupender Nath, Founder & Managing Director, Passion F&B, Trèsind was started five years ago with the aim to introduce the next frontier of Indian food to a global audience, taking its revered legacy forward and showcasing the expansive culinary culture that India has to offer, while continuously innovating and evolving the Trèsind experience. Last year, the restaurant, a Passion F&B venture, underwent a transformation

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of its ambience along with a renewed culinary and mixology menu. Under the able guidance of the Group’s award-winning Corporate Chef Himanshu Saini, Trèsind’s team of chefs have crafted a culinary experience that engages all of the senses. The menu showcases traditional dishes from the sub-continent but is presented with a modernistic approach; Ceaser Malai Tikka, Lamb Shank Nihari or Shrikhand Milli Fille are examples of this approach. Each dish has been crafted to reflect its cultural heritage while also retaining its original essence. The menu is also a journey through India as one can see influences from the various regions across the vast and diverse country from the keema dosa to prawn ghee roast, wild mushroom chai, chicken

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khurchan with roomali roti and mint chutney and Birbal ki khichdi. There is even a chaat trolley, but once again with a modernist twist. Another element of Indianmodernist hybrid is the Guéridon service where live cooking is performed at the guests’ table. Guests can also look forward to the new signature cocktails and mocktails exclusively designed for Trèsind by award-winning Corporate Bar Manager - Sherine John. Using both classic and innovative mixology techniques and presentation, the beverage repertoire at Trèsind has been put together to compliment the food as well as offer an engaging experience to guests wishing to just enjoy a drink. The Trèsind Studio service offers guests a “first-of-its-kind premium epicurean experience” featuring live


cooking and a personalised culinary experience. Trèsind Studio aims to introduce the global and adventurous gourmands to the evolution of modernist Indian cuisine. At its maximum capacity, Trèsind’s Studio can accommodate just 18 guests, and with its 16 tasting courses on offer, the

Studio is designed to ensure a lavish and exclusive experience. Trèsind has also put together a weekday Business Lunch menu and for more informal occasions on weekdays, is the Guest Sharing lunch menu. The latter package can be upgraded to include unlimited beverages. Bon Appetite!

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TRESIND Nassima Royal Hotel Sheikh Zayed Road reservation@tresind.com +9714 308 0440

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L A D O L C E V I TA • J E W E L I N T H E C R O W N

Hotel Hermitage’s perfect location offers stunning views of Monaco’s harbour and the Mediterranean sea

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JEWEL IN THE CROWN Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, one of Monaco’s belle époque treasures The 150-year-old Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer is a significant player in Europe’s luxury tourism based on its foundation of excellence in hospitality, entertainment, haute cuisine, luxury shopping, wellness and real estate. It owns the most prestigious venues in Monaco: four casinos, including the legendary Casino de Monte-Carlo, 33 restaurants including four that have earned six prestigious Michelin stars between them. It also owns four prestigious hotels: Hotel de Paris MonteCarlo, Monte-Carlo Beach, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort and Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo.

Hotel Hermitage can best be described as a 19th-century urban palace, embellished in belle époque splendour while also offering the convenience of a resort. Located conveniently in the middle of Monaco’s prestigious Carré d’Or district, just a minute’s walk from the main square known for its iconic casino and opera as well as its fine-dine restaurants and designer shops. Adjacent to the hotel is a quaint little garden called Square Beaumarchais. Being close to the harbour, its upper outward facing rooms offer guests views of Monaco’s harbour and the Mediterranean sea.

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The interior space is the epitome of luxury and old world charm, where marble and glass are used generously from the stained-glass atrium to the winter garden and the Crystal Bar. There are ornate mantle clocks and urns. The 278 guest rooms are individually decorated with period furnishings, rich and colourful fabrics, and luxurious bathrooms. Hotel Hermitage offers its guests free access to the Casino de Monte-Carlo, the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo wellness complex, and Monte-Carlo Beach Club, all connected by shuttle services for transfers within the resort. The hotel also

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Diamond Suite – Princely, the most premium class of accommodation the hotel has to offer

offers preferential rates for the MonteCarlo Golf Club and the Monte-Carlo Country Club. All guest rooms offer free wifi. Hermitage’s well-appointed rooms range from the Superior Queen room at 18 square metres to the Exclusive room at 37 square metres. The latter offers sea views with a terrace. The rooms are ideal for two or three persons. The wide range of suite options start with the one-bedroom Junior Suites ranging between 40 and 90 square metres. They are suitable for three persons or a small family. Some have terraces while the largest one even has a jacuzzi on its sea-facing terrace. The Diamond suites are the hotel’s premium class of accommodations starting with the one-bedroom Diamond Suite – Pagnol. At 240 square metres, it offers a fitted kitchen and outdoor seating on the terrace. At the top of the pile is the Diamond Suite – Princely, a three-bedroom, 330 square metre luxury

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accommodation with three terraces and a separate seating area. Diamond Suite guests get privileged contact with the hotel’s Guest Relations Manager, in-suite check-in, assistance with unpacking and packing bags along with a whole host of other services and amenities. Any review of a Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer property would be incomplete without looking into its centrepiece; the world-renowned Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo wellness and fitness centre. With expertise built over 150 years, Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo combines innovation and savoir-faire in a 6,600 square-metres facility dedicated to wellness, fitness and preventive health. It is a haven of calm and relaxation in the midst of Monte-Carlo. The wellness centre is designed to maximise the benefits of the sea and the Mediterranean climate; from the seawater pool heated to 29°C, to the cold

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bath and ice fountain, the outdoor solarium and jacuzzi overlooking the Mediterranean, sauna, and hammam. The panoramic fitness room is equipped with Technogym exercise machines. A team of multidisciplinary experts assess and providing a holistic solution in the way of personalised treatments and protocols. For the ultimate Mediterranean terrace dining experience, the Hermitage offers the Michelin-starred restaurant - the Vistamar. Chef Benoit Witz has concocted a menu with refined, authentic Mediterranean flavours whose colours shift with the changing seasons. The venue is an ideal setting for a business lunch or a meal with friends in a relaxed, airy setting with views of the famous rock. For a late afternoon treat, Le Limùn Bar offers British-style tea-time formulas accompanied by pastries, scones and finger sandwiches.


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